“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to 150 days of jail and 30 months of probation, WGN9 reports. He will owe the City of Chicago a little over $120,000 in restitution in addition to a $25,000 fine. After receiving his sentence, he had an emotional outcry claiming his innocence in a Cook County courtroom.
Smollett addressed the judge saying, “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.”
He was convicted last year of staging and falsifying a homophobic and racist attack to authorities in 2019. The proceedings are considered to be one of the most high-profile cases in Chicago’s history.
Judge James Linn presided over the eight-day trial in late November until December. The actor was found guilty on five counts of disorderly conduct. Given the counts were a low level felony charge, the state of Illinois requires a prison sentence up to three years max. However, Smollett only has a minimal criminal history so major prison time was not a likely outcome.
His defense team requested a motion for a new trial but Judge Linn denied the appeal saying, “We’ve been talking about these very issues for the last couple of years,” he said. “I’ve never had a case that’s been pled as exhaustively as this one.”
The fallen actor testified last year on his behalf vehemently denying any involvement and the allegations against him in connection to the crime. Following his conviction, Nenye Uche, the lead defense attorney, affirmed to file an appeal.
The sentencing will now conclude the end of Smollett’s criminal case, but two federal lawsuits still loom over the 39-year-old’s head. As of now, both lawsuits are pending in a Chicago federal court.
“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.”