Jussie Smollett’s long legal ordeal regarding a vicious hate crime, he claimed to be the victim of in early 2019, has finally come to an end.
The 39-year-old former Empire star was sentenced to 150 days at Cook County Jail by Chicago’s Judge James Linn on March 10. The sentence included serving 30 months probation and an order to pay $130,160 in restitution in addition to the maximum fine applicable for the actor’s case, $25,000.
The news of Smollett’s fate trailed a jury’s decision to convict the actor on five counts of disorderly conduct last December.
“There’s a side of you that has this arrogance, and selfishness and narcissism that’s just disgraceful,” the judge said, addressing Smollett before his ruling. “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.”
“You wanted to make yourself more famous. And for a while it worked,” Linn continued. “The lights were on you. You were actually throwing a national pity party for yourself.”
“Mr. Smollett, I know that there is nothing that I will do here that will come close to the damage that you’ve already done to your own life,” the judge bluntly stated, adding, “You’ve turned your life upside down by your misconduct and your shenanigans.”
During Linn’s announcement of the actor’s sentencing, Smollett maintained his innocence and angrily said, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this.”
“Jail time?” the actor reiterated, questioning the ruling. “I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go in there [jail], I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.”
One of Smollett’s siblings, younger brother Jacqui, told reporters after the sentencing that the actor “is now going to jail for being attacked.”
“Do you know how crazy that is?” Jacqui said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “That judge chastised him! He chastised my brother! He does not deserve this. He’s in jail for five months. That is unacceptable. He is a survivor and he is being completely mistreated, and this has to stop.”
Smollett’s account of the now-debunked 2019 incident painted the actor as the victim of hate crime as a Black gay man. In its aftermath, the trial has been dubbed “undoubtedly, the most high-profile Class 4 felony to ever be tried in Chicago.”
Read more about the details of the case down below.
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