Expressing their thoughts. Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe were two of the Empire stars who spoke out in support of costar Jussie Smollett on Tuesday, March 26, after it was announced that Chicago prosecutors had dropped all criminal charges against him.
“I’m happy that the truth has finally been set free, because I knew it all along,” Henson, 48 — who plays the actor’s onscreen mother on the Fox drama — told USA Today hours after the news broke. “We’re all happy for him, and thank God the truth prevailed.”
Sidibe, 35, took to Instagram to share her opinion alongside a picture titled “16 COUNTS DISMISSED” that briefly explained Smollett’s case. “It’s weird that y’all decided that the police were being 100% honest about this case,” the Precious actress captioned the pic in which she also disabled the comments.
The official Twitter account for the writers on Empire simply tweeted the winking emoji and “see y’all Wednesday,” alongside a CNN story about Smollett.
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.”
Smollett was hospitalized in January following an alleged attack in which he claimed his attackers yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him. The following month, the Mighty Ducks alum was named as a suspect in the investigation.
Us Weekly confirmed on Tuesday that all felony charges against the actor had been dropped by prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois. “First of all, I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago, and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me, who have shown me so much love,” Smollett said in a press conference shortly after. “No one will ever know how much that’s meant to me and I will be forever grateful.”
He added: “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man of faith and a man of knowledge of history and I wouldn’t bring my family through this, I just wouldn’t. I want to thank my legal counsel from the bottom of my heart and I would also like to thank the state of Illinois for attempting to do what’s right. Now, I would like nothing more than to just get back to work and move on with my life.”
Despite being accused of staging the attack in hopes to get a raise on Empire by the Chicago Police Department, Smollett maintained his innocence throughout the nearly two month investigation. 20th Century FOX told Us in a statement that they “are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed.”