Jussie Smollett has declared he went through hell after being accused of faking a hate crime against himself.
The Empire star, 36, was accused of hiring thugs to beat him up in a bid to boost his acting career and he was later charged with facing 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.
At a hearing in Chicago today, all 16 counts were sensationally dropped and speaking aftewards, the telly star opened up about his ordeal.
He called his arrest and subsequent court battle the "worst time" of his life.
Speaking outside court today, he said: "I want to thank my family, friends, the people of the city of Chicago and all over country who have prayed for me supported me, shown me so much love, no one will ever know how much that's meant to meant to me.
"I want them to know it's not been in vain.
"I have been truthful and consistent on everything since day one. I would not be my mother's son if I had done what I was accused of.
"It was a difficult time, the worst of my entire life, but I am a man of faith and I would not bring my family or the movement through a fire like this.
"I want to thank the state of Illinois tor trying to do what's right.
"I want nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life."
The actor's lawyers went on to say that Smollett is "relieved to have this situation behind him" and is "very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career".
The actor, who played Jamal in Empire, hit headlines when he previously alleged he was the victim of a racially motivated and homophobic attack in which two men beat him and looped a noose around his neck.
Smollett, who is black and came out as gay in 2015, even made a tearful appearance on Good Morning America declaring he had been "forever changed" by the alleged incident.
Chicago police chiefs later alleged he made the story up in a bid to get a pay rise out of his bosses at Empire.
TV chiefs at 20th Century Fox TV have since confirmed the actor has been written out of the show.
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