Former Empire Actor, Jussie Smollet was sentenced today after a 7-hour hearing for lying to police in a hate crime hoax. He was sentenced to 30 months of felony probation, including 150 days in jail, and ordered to pay restitution of more than $120,000. Jussie was ordered to Cook County jail immediately following sentencing.
At the beginning of the sentencing hearing Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian attempted to have the guilty verdict overturned and a new trial granted. Judge Linn denied the request and said Smollett received a fair trial.
In an act of defiance Jussie Smollet proclaimed his innocence and exploded saying, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this,” He continued, “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” in an obvious reference to people like Sandra Bland who mysteriously died in prison and their deaths ruled a suicide.
Cook County Judge James Linn admonished Smollet for over 30 minutes saying he believed Smollett committed this crime out of an incredible need for attention. “There’s a side of you that has this arrogance, and selfishness and narcissism that’s just disgraceful, 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,” Judge Linn said.
Jussie Smollett was tried and convicted on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false statements in reference to a 2019 incident where he claimed he was attacked by two men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs and wrapped a noose around his neck.
Jussie Smollett was put into protective custody at the court’s recommendation. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Smollett is in his own cell monitored by security cameras and an officer who is stationed at the entrance to observe Jussie Smollet at all times. Smollet is not in solitary confinement and is allowed time out of his cell to watch television and use the telephone.
Smollett’s attorneys have said they plan to appeal.