Backlash, questions follow dismissal of Jussie Smollett case

Posted March 29, 2019

He claimed that two men yelled homophobic and racist slurs and, Smollett said, shouted "this is MAGA country".

Additional sources close to Smollett tell TMZ that his team is in crisis management mode to fix his public image, as his job offers have completely dried up since he was arrested last month for allegedly staging the attack.

In a stunning reversal Tuesday, the Cook County state's attorney's office abruptly dropped all charges against Smollett, abandoning the criminal case only five weeks after the allegations were filed. Smollett was not required to admit wrongdoing and has continued to contend he's innocent, while prosecutors say they don't believe he is.

Meanwhile, President Trump sounded off on the case after prosecutors made a decision to drop state charges against the "Empire" actor despite compelling criminal evidence.

Two days after prosecutors announced that they are dropping all charges against Smollett, who stands accused of faking a hate crime in Chicago this January, the President tweeted: "FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago".

A hot take from POTUS, who is no stranger to federal investigations nor embarrassing a nation.

Foxx then called Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to ask him to let the FBI investigate the alleged attack.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that if Smollett were not an actor with influence, he would have been held to a different standard. They do not appear to offer many major revelations about what investigators allege was Smollett's hoax. The brothers claimed they were paid to carry out the attack on Smollett, though Smollett said the money was for personal training sessions.

More questions have been raised whether Smollett used his power and celebrity muscle to sway prosecutors, especially after it was reported State's Attorney Kim Foxx fielded calls from Smollett's family and a powerful friend, Tina Tchen, who was Michelle Obama's former chief of staff.

FOX, the show's home network, hasn't said whether "Empire" will be renewed for another season, and the show's producers haven't said whether Smollett would still be on the show if filming continues for a sixth season.

The "Empire" actor was accused of paying two brothers to stage an attack on himself in January, then lying to police about it.

A judge on Wednesday sealed the investigative documents, and police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said he was awaiting a written copy of the order to determine if he could comment, including disclosing how much the stay cost the department.

On Tuesday, the state's attorney's office, with little explanation, dismissed the charges against him, sparking widespread confusion and anger.