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Jussie Smollett update: Empire star sentenced to jail for staging hate crime

Jussie Smollet sentenced to jail
Empire actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty in December for staging an attack he reported to the police. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Carrie-nelson

Actor Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to jail time after making a false police report.

In December, the Empire star was found guilty of staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself.

He was sentenced to 30 months of probation, including 150 days of jail time, and ordered to pay restitution for his conviction.

The judge also ordered the actor to pay $120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago and a $25,000 fine – the maximum amount allowed.

Judge James Linn denied a request to suspend Smollett’s sentence and ordered he be placed in custody immediately.

Jussie Smollett claims he is innocent in court outburst

The case against Smollett was launched after he reported to police that two men wearing ski masks beat him and placed a noose around his neck while yelling racial and homophobic slurs in Chicago. However, it was later found that he had staged the attack.

Smollett maintained his innocence under oath during the trial, and he continued to do so after he was handed his sentence.

“I am not suicidal. I am innocent, and I’m not suicidal. 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.

“Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, 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.”

As Smollett was escorted out of the courtroom, he raised his fist in the air as he continued to yell, “I am not suicidal!” before adding, “I could’ve said I was guilty a long time ago!”

Judge Linn admonishes ‘shameful’ Smollett

Linn delivered a scathing rebuke of the Empire actor before sentencing him to jail time. He said Smollett had taken some “scabs off some healing wounds” because he wanted to make himself more famous.

Linn called the actor a “disgrace” and said Smollett’s testament before the jury on his own behalf, was “pure perjury.”

“You’re not the victim of a racist hate crime, you’re not the victim of a homophobic hate crime, you’re just a charlatan pretending to be the victim of a hate crime and that’s shameful especially,” Linn told the court.

“You’ve turned your life upside down by your misconduct and shenanigans. You’ve destroyed your life as you knew it,” Linn said. “You wanted to get the attention and you were so invested in issues of social justice, and you knew this was a sore spot for everybody in this country… You were throwing a national pity party for yourself.”

Investigators said Smollett paid two Nigerian-born brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, to attack him to boost his career because he was “dissatisfied with his salary on Empire,” according to court papers.

The 39-year-old actor rose to fame in 2015 for portraying Jamal Lyon in the Fox drama series.

He garnered critical praise for depicting a black gay man on television – a character partially based on the Empire writer and director Lee Daniels.

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