U.S. Actor Jussie Smollett Found Guilty of Staging Hoax Hate Crime

A Chicago jury on Dec. 9 found actor Jussie Smollett guilty on five of six counts for making false reports to police that he was a victim of a hate crime in January 2019.

After 10 hours of deliberation, the jury convicted Smollett of five counts of disorderly conduct, which are class 4 felonies that are punishable by up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Smollett, who is Black and gay, alleged that two men attacked him, doused him with chemicals, placed a rope around his neck, used racist and homophobic slurs, and shouted a pro-Trump slogan on Jan. 29, 2019 when he was walking home in the Windy City’s Streeterville neighborhood at 2:45 a.m.

Prosecutors said that Smollett staged the attack against himself to gain publicity and to secure a bigger paycheck because he was “dissatisfied” with his salary on the TV show “Empire.”

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb said during the trial that Smollett hired Nigerian-born brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo to carry out the attack.

Smollett pleaded not guilty.

Cook County Judge James Linn will sentence Smollett at a later date.


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