Prosecutor says dropping charges against Smollett ‘was not an exoneration’

Prosecutors say a stunning decision to drop charges against Empire star Jussie Smollett does not mean they no longer believe he staged a racial and homophobic attack against him in January.

First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats told reporters that he still believes Smollett filed a false police report.

He says prosecutors “stand behind the investigation and the facts”, and added that “this was not an exoneration”.

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves Cook County Court after his charges were dropped (Paul Beaty/AP)

A minimum requirement for the dropping of charges is typically that a defendant accepts some responsibility and offers an apology.

But speaking after prosecutors told a judge they were dropping all charges, Smollett conceded nothing and did not apologise.

He insisted he had been “truthful and consistent on every single level since day one”.

- Press Association

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