A judge on Thursday sentenced out actor
Jussie Smollett to 150 in jail for filing a false report with police
claiming he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack.
In delivering his verdict, Judge James
Linn described Smollett as a “charlatan pretending to be a victim
of a hate crime.”
Smollett reiterated his innocence,
saying that he “did not do this.”
"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 over 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,” Smollett said.
"If anything happens to me when I
go in there I did not do it to myself,” he added.
Smollett, who is black and came out gay
in 2015, claims he was attacked on January 29, 2019 by two men in
downtown Chicago. The men, he said, hurled racial and homophobic
slurs and told Smollett that he was in “MAGA country.”
Prosecutors claim that Smollett paid
brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo $3,500 to stage the attack,
which was believed to be part of a PR stunt. The brothers testified
that the actor paid them to carry out the attack.
The 39-year-old actor is best known for
playing Jamal Lyon on Fox's Empire. Producers on the series
dropped Smollett from the show's fifth season.
Smollett must also pay $145,000 in
restitution and fines.