“There’s a side of you that has this arrogance, and selfishness, and narcissism that is just disgraceful,” Cook County Judge James Linn said in his closing remarks to Jussie Smollett.
“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.”
Now finally, we all have some much needed closure. Even though he has maintained his innocence throughout this entire debacle, Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to serve 150 days in jail for lying to police about the racist and homophobic attack that he orchestrated himself. Smollett was also ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago, pay a $25,000 fine, and to serve 30 months of probation.
Smollett, who starred in the hit Fox series Empire, reported that two attackers described as both white and wearing ski masks, beat him and fractured a rib. They then put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they yelled, “This is MAGA country.” He was taken to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated and discharged later that morning.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. At that time his character was written off the show for the last two episodes of the season and would not be invited back for the final season.
In March, 2021 a Cook County grand jury returned a 16-count indictment charging Smollett with falsely reporting an offense. By December 2021, Smollett finally had his day in court where a jury convicted Smollett on five counts of disorderly conduct, and acquitted him on a sixth count.
And today in court, Judge Linn stated, “You will spend the first 150 days of your sentence in the Cook County Jail, and that will start today. Right here, right now.”
The disgraced actor then addressed the court.
“I am not suicidal,” Smollett said, and his voice grew with more intensity. “I am not suicidal! I am innocent! And I am not suicidal. If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community. Your honor, 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!”
As Smollett was ushered away he continued his dramatic rant, “I am innocent!” he said. “I could have said I was guilty a long time ago! I am innocent and I am not suicidal.”
Smollett is now in protective custody at Cook County Jail. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said in a written statement that Smollett is “housed in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and by an officer wearing a body camera who is stationed at the entrance of the cell to ensure Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times.”