After being convicted of five felony charges of lying to the police in 2021, former Empire star Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in prison.
Smollett, who is Black and homosexual, claimed in January 2019 that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault in Chicago, despite evidence produced in court revealing that he fabricated the incident and then told police a fake tale.
Smollett has been sentenced to 30 months of felony probation, during which time he will be permitted to travel. He must also pay a $25,000 fine to the city of Chicago, as well as more than $120,000 in punishment.
“I’m not suicidal, and I’m completely blameless. Your honour, I did not do it “Smollett replied when Judge James Linn gave down his punishment.
Linn added, “The hypocrisy is absolutely stunning,” adding that he knew Smollett was raised to be sensitive to racial discrimination concerns.
The court said Smollett had demonstrated a “profoundly selfish and narcissistic” side of himself, while he accepted that he also has excellent traits.
“I feel you have done genuine harm to hate crime victims and hate crime perpetrators,” Linn stated. As a result of Smollett’s dishonesty, he believes victims will be more afraid to come forward.
Prosecutors requested that Smollett be sentenced to “an appropriate length of jail time” by the judge. They said that Smollett’s actions cost the city’s police department money, and they want Smollett’s sentence to include reimbursements for the overtime that officers performed during the investigation.
Smollett’s attorneys, on the other hand, argue that the 39-year-old actor has already suffered enough with the loss of his acting career and should not be sentenced to prison.
Several witnesses talked about Smollett’s character, including his 92-year-old grandmother, Molly.
“Jussie is a justice warrior, in my opinion. He has spent his entire life fighting injustice… I respectfully request that you, the court, refrain from sending him to prison. Send me along with him if you do “she said
Smollett himself declined to speak in front of the jury.
Smollett claimed in 2019 that he was approached on the street by two guys who hit him with their hands and spilled a chemical substance on him. They also allegedly wrapped a rope around his neck, according to the actor.
The incident caused worldwide outrage, but after only a few weeks of inquiry, Chicago cops revealed that Smollett manufactured the incident and charged him with filing a false police complaint. Smollett risked a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
In February 2019, then-Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters, “Jussie Smollett took advantage of the hurt and rage of racism to enhance his profession.” “I’m left scratching my head, unsure why.”
Smollett paid $3,500 to arrange the attack and “tear Chicago’s image through the gutter,” according to Johnson.
Smollett reiterated his narrative in court in December, denying any charges that he fabricated a fictitious attack. He was convicted on five charges of felony disorderly behaviour by a jury, but a sixth count was dismissed.