The Jussie Smollett legal saga appears to have come to an end — for now. The actor was sentenced on Thursday, March 10, to 150 days in jail, and is required to pay restitution of more than $120,000 as well as a $25,000 fine. He was also sentenced to 30 months of felony probation.
In December 2021, a Chicago jury found the Empire star guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making fraudulent reports to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault in January of 2019. The 39-year-old Smollet was accused of staging the hate crime and charged, though he continued to plead his innocence throughout the trial.
Speaking for more than 30 minutes before announcing Smollett’s sentence, Cook County Judge James Linn noted that the actor’s premeditation for the act was an “aggravating factor” in the case.
“There’s a side of you that has this arrogance, and selfishness and narcissism that’s just disgraceful,” said Linn. “You’re not a victim of a racial hate crime, you’re not a victim of a homophobic hate crime. You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime, and that’s shameful.”
After sentencing, Smollett said to the judge, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this.” He then added, “And I am not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.”
As he was escorted from the courtroom, the actor raised a fist in the air and once again loudly proclaimed his innocence.
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