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‘Profoundly Arrogant, Selfish, And Narcissistic’: Judge Lays Into Jussie Smollett

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days behind bars, 30 months felony probation, a $25,000 fine, and $120,106 restitution to the city of Chicago by Judge James Linn on Thursday after he was convicted last year of lying to Chicago police about being the victim of a hate crime.

Smollett was found guilty in December 2021 of crimes related to a false police report he filed in which he claimed to be the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime in 2019.

Cook County Judge James Linn tore into Smollett, saying “you have another side of you that is profoundly arrogant and selfish and narcissistic. That’s the only thing that can be concluded.”

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“You turned your life upside down by your misconduct and shenanigans,” the judge stated. “There’s nothing that any sentencing judge can do to you that would compare to the damage you’ve already caused yourself.”

“For you to now sit here, convicted of hoaxing hate crimes, racial hate crimes, and homophonic hate crimes, the hypocrisy is just astounding,” he said.

“You knew this was a country that was slowing trying to heal past injustices and current injustices and trying to make a better future for each other,” he said. “…And it was a hard road…You took some scabs off some healing wounds, and you ripped them apart for one reason – you wanted to make yourself more famous, and for a while, it worked.”

“That bad side of you came out during the course of all these events,” the judge added.

WATCH:

Immediately after the sentence was handed down, Smollett shouted: “I am not suicidal.”

“I DID NOT DO THIS. I’m not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, you must all know that. Jail time, I am not suicidal,” he said.

Walking out of the court, he continued shouting: “I’m not suicidal and I’m innocent. I could have said I was guilty a long time ago.”

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CNN reported:

Smollett, who is Black and gay, told Chicago police that on a frigid night in January 2019 two unknown men attacked him, yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him, and wrapped a noose around his neck.

Chicago police investigated the case as a possible hate crime but soon determined the actor orchestrated the incident. They said he paid two brothers he knew from the Fox drama “Empire” to stage the incident for publicity.

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The brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, were among seven witnesses for the prosecution at the trial. They testified that Smollett directed them and paid them to stage the attack in an attempt to garner sympathetic media coverage.

They said that they fake punched him, poured bleach on him, put a noose around his neck, and used racist and homophobic slurs – because he told them to.

Smollett testified in his own defense and said he paid the brothers only for training advice and nutritional tips. He cast doubt on their true motivations and said he had a sexual relationship with one of the brothers, which the brother denied.

After he was convicted, the actor’s attorney, Nenye Uche, said that he disagreed with the verdict and predicted his client would win on appeal.

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“He (Smollett) is 100% confident that this will be reversed on appeal,” he said. “At the end of the day, we believe justice will prevail. We don’t believe it was done (in December) but we’re very confident that he will be cleared and he will be found to be innocent.”

The actor was indicted in March 2019 on 16 charges, but those charges were later dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in exchange for Smollett forfeiting his $10,000 bond and doing community service.

The decision led to a judge appointing a special prosecutor to look into the case, which then led to another grand jury indicting the actor, who was convicted in December on five of six felony charges.

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