Three years after committing a hate crime hoax, Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in prison, NBC reported. Smollett, who was convicted of five counts of felony disorderly conduct in December 2021, allegedly believes he received the sentence not because he is guilty but because he is Black. According to TMZ, sources close to Smollett said he expected to be sentenced to jail time but expected to receive a harsher sentence than other people who have been convicted of a non-violent crime because he’s Black. He reportedly also felt the judge was hostile towards him.
“You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime,” Cook County Circuit Judge James Linn told Smollett during sentencing on March 11.
Besides his 150 days in prison, he was also sentenced to 30 months probation and has to pay $130,160 in restitution on top of a $25,000 fine.
At his sentencing, he continued to claim he is innocent and bizarrely shouted that he was not suicidal and warned everyone that if something happened to him while in custody, then it was at the hands of someone else.
“If I did this, then it means that I shoved my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community,” Smollett shouted in the courtroom. “Your honor, I respect you and I respect your decision, but I did not do this and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.”
Smollett will be serving his sentence at the Cook County Jail in Chicago and began his sentence in protective custody.
“Mr. Smollett is being housed in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and by an officer wearing a body-worn camera who is stationed at the entrance of the cell to ensure that Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times,” the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement according to the New York Post.
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement in favor of the former Empire star’s sentence and saying that she hopes people fully understand the consequences of making false reports about crimes.
“The criminal conviction of Jussie Smollett by a jury of his peers and today’s sentencing should send a clear message to everyone in the City of Chicago that false claims and allegations will not be tolerated,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “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,” she went on. “The City feels vindicated in today’s ruling that he is being held accountable and that we will appropriately receive restitution for his actions.”