On his side! Anthony Anderson is rooting for Jussie Smollett to take home the prize for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the 50th NAACP Image Awards after Chicago prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against the Empire star.
“I hope he wins, I hope everyone wins!” the Black-ish actor, 48, said during an interview with Extra on Wednesday, March 27. “I am glad everything has worked out for him.” As for whether Smollett, 36, will attend the event on Saturday, March 30, the five-time host added: “I hope he is here so he can celebrate with his community, with his family, and with his friends.”
Anderson’s remarks come just a little over 24 hours after it was announced that all felony charges against Smollett had been dropped by Cook County, Illinois, prosecutors on Tuesday, March 26, almost two months after he was hospitalized following an alleged attack.
The “Good Enough” singer — who publicly came out as gay in 2015 — claimed in January that his attackers yelled homophobic and racist slurs at him during the alleged incident. Despite maintaining his innocence, he was named as a suspect in the investigation the following month. Chicago Police accused Smollett of staging the attack in hopes to get a raise for his role on the Fox drama.
“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 on Tuesday after it was revealed he’d be cleared of the charges. “No one will ever know how much that’s meant to me and I will be forever grateful.”
The Mighty Ducks alum concluded: “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.”
A source told Us Weekly on Wednesday that “there is an active federal investigation” into how the actor “received an unusually favorable plea deal. Basically, there is a probe to decide whether or not foul play was involved in his bargain with prosecutors.”
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