On Thursday, Judge James Linn sentenced actor Jussie Smollett to 150 days in jail, 30 months of felony probation, a $25,000 fine, and $120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago after he was found guilty last year of lying to Chicago police about being the victim of a hate crime.
Smollett was found guilty of charges stemming from a false police report he filed in 2019 claiming to be the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime in December 2021. Cook County Judge James Linn chastised Smollett, saying, “you have another side of you that is exceedingly arrogant, egotistical, and narcissistic.” That’s the only conclusion that can be drawn.”
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“You realized this was a country that was slowly attempting to repair past injustices and current injustices and making a brighter future for each other,” he added. “…And it was a difficult path… You peeled the scabs off some mending wounds for one reason: you wanted to make yourself more renowned, and it succeeded for a while.”
“That terrible aspect of you came out during all of these events,” the judge continued. “I am not suicidal,” Smollett said immediately after the sentence was handed down. “NO, I DID NOT DO THIS.” I’m not considering suicide. You must all be aware if anything bad occurs to me when I go in there. “I’m not suicidal, I’m in jail,” he explained.
According to CNN, Smollett told Chicago police that two unknown individuals assaulted him in January 2019, hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, threw bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The case was first investigated as a suspected hate crime by Chicago police, but it was quickly revealed that the actor planned the event.
They said he bribed two brothers he knew from the Fox show “Empire” to fabricate the incident in order to gain exposure. The brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, were among seven prosecution witnesses during the trial. They stated that Smollett ordered and paid them to orchestrate the incident in order to gain favorable media publicity.
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They claimed to have fake punched him, poured bleach on him, wrapped a noose around his neck, and screamed racial and homophobic slurs at his request. Smollett testified in his own defense, saying he just paid the brothers for fitness and dietary guidance.
He questioned their sincerity and claimed to have had a sexual relationship with one of the brothers, which the brother denied.
Following the verdict, the actor’s attorney, Nenye Uche, expressed dissatisfaction with the conviction and predicted that his client will win on appeal. In March 2019, the actor was charged with 16 counts, but the charges were subsequently dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in return for Smollett forfeiting his $10,000 bail and performing community service.
Following the verdict, the court appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case, which resulted in another grand jury indicting the actor, who was convicted on five of six felony charges in December.