Jussie Smollett is leaving the NAACP Image Awards empty-handed. The embattled Empire star was nominated in the outstanding supporting actor category for his work in the hit Fox show, but lost to Grey’s Anatomy’s Jesse Williams. As Deadline points out, Smollett did not attend Friday’s untelevised portion of the ceremony, but was said to be in the Los Angeles area, sparking rumors that he would attend Saturday’s televised event. Smollett’s representative, Pamela Sharp, told USA Today that she could not confirm whether Smollett would be in attendance.
It’s been a roller-coaster week for Smollett, after the Cook County state’s attorney’s office dropped all charges against him. Smollett was being charged with four felonies and was indicted on a total of 16 charges after Chicago police determined that he had orchestrated the racist and homophobic attack against him in February.
“I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” Smollett said in a statement after the charges were dropped.
“He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement,” his attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes added.
Despite his apparent vindication, Chicago police did not back down from its belief that Smollett’s attack was indeed a hoax. “Do I think justice was served? No,” the Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said after the charges were dropped. “At the end of the day, Mr. Smollett committed this hoax.” Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emmanuel called the decision to drop the charges a “whitewashing of justice.”
Smollett ultimately forfeited his $10,000 bond and performed community service that included speaking to high school students at the headquarters of Rainbow/Push, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s civil rights organization, The New York Times reports.