U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., was honored over the weekend at the NAACP Image Awards, where Smollett was also nominated -- but lost -- for best-supporting actor in a television drama for his role as Jamal Lyon on the Fox series. He was edged out by "Grey's Anatomy" star Jesse Williams.
In an interview with "Extra," Waters said it was the "correct thing" for prosecutors to dismiss all 16 felony counts against Smollett, who is black and gay. The "Empire" actor was accused of faking a racist, anti-gay attack on himself in January. Authorities said that in return for the charges being dropped, Smollett agreed to forfeit the $10,000 he put up to get out of jail and completed community service.
"First of all, we probably will never know all of the details," Waters told "Extra." "We’ve heard a lot of information. No one was hurt — that is, physically, killed, shot — he never committed a crime before, he forfeited the bail and it’s this kind of situation where they close the case all over the country every day. I have learned this isn't unusual."
Waters, the Democratic chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the case received a lot of attention because Smollett is "An extremely talented man who people have come to love because he is on TV."
"I’m hopeful that he will go on with his career and be successful," she said.
Even though he lost this time, Smollett has been nominated for four years in a row and won in 2017.
The surprise decision to drop charges on last week, followed by Smollett's claims of innocence, prompted an immediate rebuke from Chicago's mayor and police superintendent. After an intense public backlash, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said Friday night that she is open to an outside investigation into her office’s dramatic decision to dismiss all charges against Smollett.
Dueling rallies were also held on Monday over the decision by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx's office to drop charges.
Waters told "Extra" she had not spoken to Smollett since the charges were dropped, but hinted the two may be in for a reunion soon.
“I would love to see him, and I am looking forward to seeing him very soon," she said.
Fox News' Barnini Chakraborty in Chicago contributed to this report.