Jussie Smollett (Pic: Shutterstock.com)
After being found guilty of faking a racist and homophobic attack, disgraced gay actor Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to time in jail.
On Thursday, Smollett was given 150 days in jail and 30 months probation, fined $25,000 and ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution. He was found guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police in December last year.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge James Linn described him as “profoundly arrogant and selfish and narcissistic.”
After he was sentenced, Smollett appeared to be in disbelief that he’ll be going to jail and expressed concern that he might be killed while in custody.
Speaking out dramatically, he proclaimed: “I am not suicidal. I am innocent and I am not suicidal. If I did this then it means I stuck my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years, and the fears of the LGBT community.”
He continued: “Your honour 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 and you must all know that.”
Smollett will start serving his sentence immediately but he is expected to file an appeal. As he was led away to the cells, he raised his fist.
In January 2019, Smollett claimed that he’d been attacked in downtown Chicago by two masked men in what appeared to be a hate crime. He said they had thrown a “chemical substance” on him, and tied a noose around his neck.
Following police investigations, he was accused of paying two brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, $3,500 to stage the assault to boost his visibility and increase his salary on the hit show Empire.
The fallout from the accusations saw the star being dropped from his role in the series and becoming a pariah, far removed from his previous status as a lauded performer and LGBTQ activist and role model.
Prosecutors said the investigation into the fake attack had been a huge waste of resources, requiring around two dozen officers and costing thousands of staff hours.
Smollett claimed that the brothers lied and attacked him to extort money from him. He insisted that “there was no hoax” and that the money he’d paid them was for a meal and workout plan.