Empire's Taraji P. Henson is 'Happy' for Jussie Smollett After Charges Dropped

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Empire actress, Taraji P. Henson, has opened up about the charges against her on-screen son Jussie Smollett being dropped. 

I’m happy that the truth has finally been set free, because I knew it all along,” Henson said of the prosecutors’ decision in an interview with USA Today.

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“We’re all happy for him, and thank God the truth prevailed.”

She went on to say that she was not surprised about the charges being dropped due to his "immaculate track record."

Smollett was accused of faking a hate crime against himself, and many were stunned when the charges were dropped against him on Tuesday. 

Related: Empire: Jussie Smollett Charges Dropped

Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts just a few weeks ago, all of which were in relation to an alleged attack on January 29. 

The actor claimed that he was attacked by two white men who yelled about "MAGA Country," while hurling racist and homophobic remarks at him. 

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He went on to say that they placed a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him. After two brothers were interviewed, they alleged that Smollett paid them to orchestrate the attack. 

Smollett was subsequently arrested, and Chicago Police believed that he staged the attack with the aim of getting a raise on Empire. 

While the charges were dropped, Chicago Police and even Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, made some more comments about the matter and it was clear they were mad about the dropping of the charges. 

"This is a whitewash of justice," an Emanuel told reporters, adding:

"I’d like to remind everybody a grand jury indicted this individual based on only a piece of the evidence that the police had collected in that period of time. So a grand jury actually brought the charges.”

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson echoed those sentiments when he addressed reporters. 

"I’m sure we all know what occurred this morning," he said. "My personal opinion is that you all know where I stand in this. Do I think justice was served? No. I think this city is still owed an apology."

Related: Jussie Smollett Gives Emotional Statement After Charges Dropped

"If someone accused me of doing anything that would circumvent [my integrity], then I would want my day in court. Period," he continued. 

"I’ve heard that they [Smollett legal team] wanted their day in court with TV cameras so America could know the truth.

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"But no, they chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system. My job as a police officer is to investigate an incident, gather evidence, gather the facts and present them to the State’s Attorney."

"That’s what we did. I stand behind the detective’s investigation."

Joseph Magats, the First Assistant State's Attorney, did state that the charges were dropped because he did not think Smollett was a threat to public safety. 

"Here's the thing -- we work to prioritize violent crime and the drivers of violent crime," Magats told The New York Times journalist Julie Bosman. "Public safety is our number one priority. I don't see Jussie Smollett as a threat to public safety."

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There's still no word on where this leaves Smollett if Empire is renewed for a sixth season. The show remains a solid option in the ratings, and FOX did release a statement shortly after the charges were dropped. 

“Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence,” read the statement, issued by 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment, “and we are gratified on his behalf that all charges against him have been dismissed.”

Empire airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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