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Jussie Smollett sentenced to 150 days in jail, must pay over $120K in restitution for hate crime hoax

Smollett
Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett speaks during his sentencing hearing after he was sentenced to 30 months of probation, ordered to pay a ,000 fine and spend 150 days in jail for lying to police that he was the victim of a hate crime. The hearing was held in Chicago, Illinois, on March 10, 2022. |

Jussie Smollett, who in 2019 falsely claimed to be the victim of a hate crime, was sentenced to 30 months of felony probation, which will include 150 days in jail and must pay restitution.

In a sentence handed down on Thursday, the “Empire” actor was given 30 months of felony probation, including 150 days in jail, as well as being ordered to pay over $120,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine, reported CNN.

“Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this,” said Smollett, as reported by CNN. “I am not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.”

Cook County Judge James Linn, who gave the sentence, spoke to Smollett directly, saying that he believed the actor had “a side of you that has this arrogance, and selfishness and narcissism that's just disgraceful.”

“You're not a victim of a racial hate crime, you're not a victim of a homophobic hate crime. You're just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime, and that's shameful,” Linn added.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement saying that the sentence “should send a clear message to everyone in the City of Chicago that false claims and allegations will not be tolerated.”

“The malicious and wholly fabricated claim made by Mr. Smollett resulted in over 1500 hours of police work that cost the City over $130,000 in police overtime,” stated Lightfoot, as quoted by the New York Post.

“The City feels vindicated in today’s ruling that he is being held accountable and that we will appropriately receive restitution for his actions.”

In January 2019, Smollett claimed that two men assaulted him in Chicago, shouting homophobic and racist slurs at the openly gay, African American actor while also showing support for then President Donald Trump.

However, as police conducted their investigation, they concluded that Smollett had actually fabricated the incident, and in February 2019 arrested the actor.

During the trial, two brothers testified that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to attack him in front of a surveillance camera, even telling them what slurs to utter when doing so.

Last December, Smollett was found guilty on five of six counts centered on him lying to police and detectives about being the victim of a hate crime and a victim of battery. He was found not guilty on the sixth count, which was falsely telling a second detective that he was a victim of aggravated battery.

Nenye Uche, an attorney for Smollett, maintained after the verdict was given last December that his client was wrongfully convicted due to the influence of news media.

“Unfortunately we were facing an uphill battle where Jussie was already tried and convicted in the media and then we had to somehow get the jury to forget or unsee all the news stories that they had been hearing that were negative for the last three years,” said Uche, as reported by the Associated Press.

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