Actor Jussie Smollett sent to jail over 2019 assault hoax

Jussie Smollett

Actor Jussie Smollett has been sent to prison over his 2019 assault hoax. The actor was found guilty of lying to police about the racist and homophobic attack that the former Empire actor had staged himself.

Cook County judge James Linn sentenced the actor to 30 months of felony probation including 150 days in the county jail. While Smollett’s lawyers pleaded with the judge to suspend the prison stay Judge Linn  ordered Smollett be immediately taken into custody.

The actor was also ordered to pay USD$120,106 (AUD$163,000) in restitution. As Smollett was taken into custody he maintained that he was innocent of the crime.

“I am innocent. I could have said I am guilty a long time ago,” Smollett declared as he was taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies. The actor had been facing the prospect of up to three years behind bars.

The Empire star received a wave of community and celebrity support in January 2019 after he claimed to have been attacked, burned with chemicals and had a rope tied around his neck by two men shouting “This is MAGA country” – a reference to Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan.

It was later revealed that the two men were known to Jussie Smollett, with both of them having appeared as extras on his television program, and one of them having worked as his personal trainer.

Police claimed that Smollett faked the attack had had paid the brothers $3,500 to carry it out. They allege that the actor was deliberately creating publicity for himself so he could negotiate a higher paycheck on the TV show Empire.

Back in 2019 investigators dropped all charges against the actor seemingly reaching an out of court agreement, but new charges were later filed after their was a public outcry over the move. 

OIP Staff

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