BREAKING NEWS: Jussie Smollett Sentenced For 150 Days In Jail For Hoax Conviction
Actor Jussie Smollett has been sentenced after being convicted of lying to police about a hate crime.
The 39-year-old was sentenced to 150 days in the Cook County Jail. He’ll also have to pay $130,000 in restitution, spend 30 months on probation during which time he’ll be able to leave the state of Illinois.
Prior to delivering his sentencing, Cook County Judge James Linn labeled Smollett “profoundly arrogant, selfish, and narcissistic" for lying to investigators.
“You’re just a charlatan,” he added. “You’re now a permanently convicted felon. Your very name has become an adverb for lying. You’re the butt of jokes.”
After learning of his sentence, Smollett lowered his mask and said he’s “not suicidal” and proclaimed his innocence. ”I am innocent, and I am not suicidal,” he said as he began to stand. “I stuck my fist in the fears of the Black community and the fears of the LGBT community."
Judge Linn also ordered that Smollett’s sentence begin immediately as he was led out of the courtroom by law enforcement.
In December of 2021, the former Empire actor faced six counts of disorderly conduct under a subsection of the law that prohibits false reports to police. He was convicted on five of the six counts. Smollet faced up to three years in prison for each of the five felony counts.
On Jan. 29, 2019, Smollett alleged that two men assaulted him in a racist and homophobic attack while he was returning home from a sandwich shop in Chicago. Smollett claimed that he was beaten, called racist and homophobic slurs, and had a rope put around his neck.
After accusations that he staged the incident, Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts, but eventually all charges were dropped by District attorney Kim Foxx. However, in February 2020, a Cook County, Ill. grand jury indicted Smollett on six counts of making false reports to police.
Special Prosecutor Dan Webb claimed Smollett hired brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo to stage the alleged attack. In their testimony, the Osundairo brothers corroborated the prosecution’s theory. They said Smollett crafted the scheme for publicity and paid them $3,500 to stage the assault.
Smollett denied that accusation and said the $3,500 was for fitness training. Smollett also alleged the brothers sought a payoff from him to change their testimony.
The defense team’s witnesses included Smollett’s publicist and Empire showrunner Brett Mahoney. They disputed the prosecution’s theory that Smollett’s motives were to get publicity and to avenge the studio’s apparent inaction to a threatening letter Smollett received.
Webb built his case against Smollett on testimony from several Chicago Police Department officers, including Detective Michael Theis who explained how investigators used surveillance footage to track down the Osundairo brothers. The brothers told the police that Smollett recruited them to stage the attack. The police also used GPS data and cell phone records to confirm their story, the detective testified.
A security guard named Anthony Moore testified that he signed a statement that said he saw two people running from the scene of the attack and one was “possibly” a Black man. However, Moore stated he felt “threatened” by the special prosecutor “to put something out there that I didn’t see.”
Jussie Smollett maintains his innocence.