Jussie Smollett, the former Empire stand-out actor, has been sentenced to 150 days in county jail and 50 days probation after being found guilty of felony disorderly conduct.
The 39-year-old was found guilty by a Chicago jury in December for falsely reporting to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019. The incident, which made international headlines, occurred in January 2019 when Smollett, a black and gay man, reported that he was the victim of an assault by two men in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood.
The two men, Olabingo Osundairo and his brother Abimbola were said to have punched and kicked Smollett as well as wrapped his neck with a noose and threw chemicals on his face all while using racial and homophobic slurs.
The police, however, discovered that the actor had fabricated the story and subsequently dropped all charges against the accused and arrested Smollett on Feb. 21, 2019, with the authorities claiming he had recruited the brothers to stage the attack. It was also reported at the time that Jussie Smollett staged the attack to increase his popularity and advance his career in the acting world, a claim he has repeatedly denied.
Smollett’s reaction to being sentenced was not taken well. He loudly and vehemently denied the allegations and maintained that he did nothing wrong.
“I am innocent. I could have said I am guilty a long time ago,” Smollett stated as he was led out of the courtroom. He could also be heard repeatedly stating that he was not “suicidal.”
Judge James Lynn’s response to the ending of the case was equally just as convicting, stating, “You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime.”
Jussie Smollett had initially faced up to five years in prison for each of the five counts of felony charges he was facing, but due to not having a track record of criminal activities, and the charges were in relation to a low-level crime, he was given a lighter sentence.