Actor Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to 30 months of probation, including 150 days of jail time, and ordered to pay restitution for his conviction of lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack that he orchestrated himself.
Smollett, 39, reported to police that two men wearing ski masks beat him, and hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him on a dark Chicago street and ran off. The 39 year old was also ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago and fined $25,000 by Judge James Linn of Cook county circuit court.
Linn denied a request to suspend Smollett’s sentence and ordered he be placed in custody immediately.
Before announcing Smollett’s sentence, Judge Linn spoke for more than 30 minutes, telling the actor that he wrote the script and picked the actors for the hoax, and that his premeditation for the act was an “aggravating factor” in the case.
“There’s a side of you that has this arrogance, and selfishness and narcissism that’s just disgraceful,” the judge said.
“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.”
After the sentencing, Smollett removed the face mask he wore throughout the hearing to loudly proclaim his innocence.
He also loudly insisted that he was not suicidal, suggesting that “if anything happens” in jail, he did not take his own life.
“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 LGBT community,” Smollett said, standing up at the defense table as his lawyers and sheriff’s deputies surrounded him. “Your Honor, I respect you and I respect the jury but I did not do this.”
“I am innocent. I could have said I am guilty a long time ago,” Smollett shouted as sheriff’s deputies led him out of the courtroom, capping an hourslong sentencing hearing.