Friends and colleagues of Jussie Smollett are weighing in on the news that all the charges against the actor – who was accused of staging a hate crime against himself – have been dropped.
The announcement from prosecutors in Chicago came Tuesday.
Smollett had pleaded not guilty to 16 felony disorderly conduct charges. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said the reversal came after reviewing the facts in the case and that the actor agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond.
Taraji P. Henson, who stars with Smollett on the Fox drama “Empire,” told USA Today that she believed in his innocence from the beginning, “because I know him and I know his track record.”
“I’m happy that the truth has finally been set free, because I knew it all along,” Henson said. “We’re all happy for him, and thank God the truth prevailed.”
“Empire” actress Gabourey Sidibe posted a picture of Smollett on Instagram and wrote, “It’s weird that y’all decided that the police were being 100% honest about this case.”
Director Ava DuVernay resurfaced a previous tweet from last month in which she wrote about the complicated history of the Chicago Police Department and the African-American community.
“Despite the inconsistencies, I can’t blindly believe Chicago PD. The department that covered up shooting Laquan McDonald over a dozen times? That operated an off-site torture facility? That one? I’ll wait. Whatever the outcome, this won’t stop me from believing others,” DuVernay wrote. “It can’t.”
The Roots frontman QuestLove simply tweeted, “TOLD YALL.”
An official account for the writers of Smollett’s Fox television show “Empire” posted a screenshot of a CNN report about Tuesday’s developments, with a winky face emoji and the caption, “See y’all Wednesday. #empire #empirefox.”
Actor Devon Sawa tweeted, “The Smollett announcement is yet another example of how our court system is broken. Lawyers look for loopholes and mistakes and then negotiate deals.”
“Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed,” Chris Alexander, a spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television and the Fox Entertainment, said in a statement to CNN,
“I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” Smollett told reporters on Tuesday. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of doing what I was accused of.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said his department stands by their investigation.
“Do I think justice was served? No,” Johnson said at a press conference Tuesday. “What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology.”