Jussie Smollett Sentenced To Prison For Faking Hate Crime
Jussie Smollett will serve time in prison for faking a hate crime.
A Chicago judge on March 10 sentenced Jussie Smollett to six months in prison and ordered him to pay $120,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine. The judge said “the extreme pre-meditation” was an “aggravating factor” in his decision. The actor was facing up to three years in prison after being found guilty of faking an attack on himself.
Before his sentencing, several supporters spoke out to ask for leniency for the former Empire star, 39, including his grandmother, Molly Smollett, 92.
“I ask you, judge, not to send him to prison,” she said.
“If you do, send me along with him, OK?”
The actor’s brother Joel Smollett, Jr., had also testified in his defense, saying that Jussie Smollett is “not a threat to the people of Illinois. In my humble opinion he is completely innocent.”
Smollett himself has also maintained his innocence since the accusations were first made against him.
“They won’t let this go. It doesn’t matter,” he told journalist Marc Lamont Hill in an interview. “There is an example being made and the sad thing is that there’s an example being made of someone that did not do what they’re being accused of.”
Before he was escorted out of the courtroom, he stated his innocence again and noted he was “not suicidal” in case anything happened to him in prison.
Smollett claimed he was walking in Chicago early one morning in January of 2019 when he was attacked by two men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, put a noose around his neck, and doused him in bleach. After an investigation, Chicago police returned with a disorderly conduct charge against Smollett for faking the attack. He was found guilty in December of 2021. It was alleged that Smollett faked the attack because he wanted more publicity and a better salary. He was written off of Empire amid the investigation.
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