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Jussie Smollett sentenced to jail time for faking hate crime

March 10, 2022 9:53pm

Updated: March 11, 2022 1:43pm

Fallen actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in prison and 30 months of probation for lying to police about a hate crime hoax he orchestrated in 2019.

Chicago Judge James Linn called the actor a “disgrace” at his sentencing hearing and called his testimony on his own behalf “pure perjury.”

“You’re not the victim of a racist hate crime, you’re not the victim of a homopobic 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 have another side of you that is profoundly arrogant and selfish and narcissistic and that bad side of you came out during the course of this.”

Smollett yelled, “I am innocent!” as he was led away from the court in handcuffs.

“I did not do this and I am not suicidal and if anything happen to me when I go there I did not do it to myself and you must all know that,” the actor added in case he died in prison.

The former Empire star, who is black and gay, was convicted of five felony counts of giving false reports in December for misleading police about an attack on Jan. 29, 2019, where he claimed he was beaten by two masked men yelling racist and homophobic slurs while returning to his apartment.

An investigation by Chicago authorities revealed that Smollett had actually hired and instructed two friends to stage the attack for $3,500. The Osundario brothers testified against Smollett during his trial.

The jail time comes as a surprise. Experts believed the fallen star would not be sent to prison because he does not have a criminal record and his convictions were for a low-level, non-violent crime, reports Fox 32 Chicago.

Judge Linn told the court that Smollett’s actions may have done “real damage to hate crimes, to hate crime victims” because any victims may be hesitant to come forward.

Witness for both the state and Smollett were able to testify at Smollett’s sentencing. His grandmother Molly spoke about his character, calling him a “justice warrior” that has been “active against injustice all his life” and plead the judge to not give him jail time, reports NPR.

Prosecutors asked for “an appropriate amount of prison time” and wanted the sentence to include payments to compensate the Chicago PD for the overtime they spent during their investigation. Smollett is facing a lawsuit for $130,000 from the City of Chicago over that money.

Smollett’s defense lawyer has vowed to appeal the charges.