Sat. Jun 25th, 2022

Former “Empire” actor will spend five months in jail for staging a hate crime attack against himself

Former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett has received a real jail time and a heavy fine for repeatedly lying to police officers about the purported hate crime attack he claimed he was subject to in January 2019. 

Smollett will spend the next 150 days in the Cook County Jail, pay $120,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine for misleading officers who investigated his claim of being a hate crime victim, a Chicago court ruled on Thursday.

Upon serving his time, Smollett will be subject to 30 months of probation. Addressing the court after hearing the verdict, Smollett protested his innosense and repeatedly stated that he was not “suicidal.”

“If anything happens to me when I go in there, I didn’t do it to myself,” Smollett said.

In December last year, Smollett was found guilty of five out of six counts of lying to police about the events that transpired on January, 29, 2019. The actor, who is black and gay, told police back then that he was assaulted by two masked men who threw a noose over his head, hurled racial and homophobic slures at him, and shouted pro-Trump slogans.

Smollett initially received an outpouring of support, predominantly from American liberals, including from then Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.

As the police investigation unfolded, cracks began to appear in Smollett’s story, however. Two Nigerian brothers later testified that they were hired by Smollett to stage a hate crime for a fee of  $3,500. The actor reportedly gave the brothers money to buy supplies – bleach and a rope – and had them rehearse an attack before the incident.