Crime & Justice

Actor Jussie Smollett sentenced to prison for faking racist attack

Los Angeles, United States, Mar 10 (EFE).- Actor Jussie Smollett, known for the series “Empire,” was sentenced Thursday to 150 days in prison for faking an alleged racist and homophobic attack in Chicago, United States, in January 2019.

In addition to spending almost half a year in jail, the actor will spend another 30 months on probation and must pay $120,000 in compensation to the city of Chicago, plus a $25,000 fine.

The 39-year-old actor said in 2019 he had been attacked by two men in downtown Chicago, who, he said, insulted him, doused him with an allegedly caustic liquid and hung a rope around his neck.

He said the attackers had shouted at him “This is a MAGA country,” in reference to the campaign initials of former US President Donald Trump “Make America Great Again.”

However, in the investigations it was discovered that everything was a hoax prepared by the actor, who wanted to impress producers of the series and strengthen his career, as he managed to mobilize several of his followers as a sign of protest due to his influence.

Judge James Linn of Cook County, in the state of Illinois, said Smollet did not intend to make money with the deception and that he fabricated the event to get “attention.”

“You really craved the attention… You knew this was a country that was slowly trying to heal and you ripped the scabs off some healing wounds,” he told Smollett, according to local media.

After hearing the sentence, the actor shouted that he could die in prison and insisted that he was not a “suicidal person,” so if “something happened to him,” it would not be his fault.

“If I did this, it means that I put my fist into the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBT community,” he said.

The first criminal accusations against Smollett for false accusation were dismissed in a controversial decision by the county’s attorney general.

In a second instance, special prosecutor Dan Webb reviewed the case and got a special jury to approve six charges against the actor in February 2020, for disorderly conduct and lying to the police about an alleged hate crime.

Smollett insisted during the trial that he was innocent, despite the testimony of the other two men involved in the event, two brothers who claimed the actor had asked them to attack him and that they had even “rehearsed” the attack. EFE


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