Advertisement
Trending

BREAKING: Jussie Smollett Sentence Revealed After Staging Hate Crime

Advertisement

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


Actor Jussie Smollett has learned his fate after being convicted of staging a hate crime hoax back in December.

The former “Empire” actor was sentenced to 150 days behind bars, 30 months felony probation a $25,000 fine and 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 shouted after the verdict “I am not suicidal,” as he continued to proclaim his innocence. “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.

Advertisement

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.”

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.

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.

Advertisement

“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 had no prior convictions, which is one reason his bond was not revoked, and a reason that former Cook County prosecutor Darren O’Brien predicted that Smollett would not face a prison sentence.

“If the person is going into custody ultimately, usually they revoke the bond,” he said. “That’s another indication that I doubt he’s going to jail.”

But another CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson, predicted that the actor could face probation, but that when he testified he “exposed himself to jail time.”

“When you testify in a case, the judge now gets a sense of what you said,” he said. “What Jussie Smollett said was resoundingly rejected by that jury. The jury did not buy what he was selling. That’s not lost upon a judge. You came into the courtroom and fabricated.”

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.

Advertisement

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.

Smollett was charged with six counts of disorderly conduct after police said he made false reports about being the victim of a hate crime.

In closing arguments, the prosecutor told jurors there is “overwhelming evidence” that Smollett staged the attack, then lied to police about it for publicity.

His defense attorney said prosecutors’ case was based on lies.

Advertisement

“Besides being against the law, it is just plain wrong to outright denigrate something as serious as a real hate crime and then make sure it involved words and symbols that have such historical significance in our country,” the prosecutor said.

“At the end of the day, he lacks any credibility whatsoever,” he said.

His defense attorney said prosecutors’ case was based on lies.

“The entire prosecution’s case, including the foundation of the case, is built like a house of cards,” he said.

Advertisement
Back to top button
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
Send this to a friend