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Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail for staging a hate crime

Actor Jussie Smollett was charged with lying to police officers and faking what he called a racist and homophobic attack

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Actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago.

Actor Jussie Smollett tears up after listening to his brother testify at his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Chicago.

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP

In 2019, actor Jussie Smollett told Chicago police that he was a victim of a brutal hate crime. On Thursday, the Chicago court found Smollett guilty of lying to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.

Smollett was sentenced to 30 months of parole and 150 days in jail, according to ABC Chicago.

Flashback: In January 2019, Smollett approached Chicago police saying he was a victim of a violent beating, according to a timeline of the case published by AP News.

  • Smollett, who is black and gay, said that his two attackers shouted slurs at him, placed a noose around his neck and told him he was in “MAGA country.”
  • The two brothers who were the alleged attackers later came forward to say that Smollett paid them each $3,500 to attack him. Investigators say they have these checks.
  • Chicago prosecutors tried Smollett in December 2021, per AP.

Smollett's charges: AP reported that Smollett was found guilty of the following charges:

  • Telling police officers he was the victim of a hate crime.
  • Telling officers he was a victim of batters.
  • Telling a detective he was a victim of a hate crime.
  • Telling a detective that he was a victim of battery.
  • However, Smollett was found not guilty of the sixth charge, telling a second detective that he was a victim of aggravated battery.

Reactions to the trial outcome: Judge James B. Linn said Smollett had an “arrogant, selfish side, and has planned the stunt because he ‘craved attention’,” according to The New York Times.

  • “You took some scabs off some healing wounds and you ripped them apart. And for one reason: You wanted to make yourself more famous,” Linn added.
  • “I am innocent! And I am not suicidal. If I did this then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community,” said Smollett, according to ABC Chicago. “Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this and I am not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself!”

Smollett’s family sides with the actor and maintains his innocence.

  • “My brother Jussie is innocent this should not be a controversial statement because it is the absolute truth, said Smollett’s sister, Jazz Smollett.