Last week, Chicago prosecutors dropped charges against “Empire” actor, Jussie Smollett, claiming the forfeiture of his $10,000 bond payment and his completion of community service were enough to toss the case. Though the decision came as a surprise for many, most were satisfied with the result, including U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters.
In an interview with ‘Extra,’ Waters opened up about the case that left the public split on whether to believe the beloved actor or the Chicago police. Back in January, Smollett claimed to have been a victim of a hate crime after two masked men allegedly attacked him in a racist, anti-gay assault. Weeks later, Smollett was accused of staging the attack on himself and later charged for faking the attack and filing a false report.
However, shortly after, prosecutors dropped the charges in exchange for a payment and completed community service, which, according to Cook County officials, was normal practice for false reports. The decision sparked widespread backlash, but according to Ms. Waters, the dismissal was the “correct thing” to do, especially since no one was physically hurt.
“First of all, we probably will never know all of the details,” Waters told Extra. “We’ve heard a lot of information. No one was hurt – that is, physically, killed, shot – he never committed a crime before, he forfeited the bail, and it’s this kind of situation where they close the case all over the country every day. I have learned this isn’t unusual.”
As for Smollett’s future, Waters said she’s hopeful “he will go on with his career and be successful,” as he is “an extremely talented man who people have come to love because he is on TV.”
In the meantime, competing rallies were held over Cook County State’s Attorney office’s decision to drop the charges.