Today, Jussie Smollett was found guilty of staging the attack he claimed happened on January 29, 2019. Smollett told cops that he had been targeted by two white males for being gay and Black. He went on to say that the men attacked him and screamed “This is MAGA country!!!,” while beating him up and throwing a noose around his neck. According to the jury, reported by TMZ, it was all a story of fiction. They found that it was an elaborate hoax orchestrated by Smollett, himself.
Smollett Found Guilty
The court ruled that Smollett was guilty of five out of six felony counts for lying to police on the night of the alleged incident on January 29, 2019. For the sixth count, where he spoke to the Chicago Police Department about the alleged aggravated burglary, on February 14, 2019, they found him not guilty.
Smollett claimed for years that he was innocent, going as far as taking the stand, something that criminal defendants usually don’t do. He tried to paint the scene for everyone in the courtroom. He said that the Osundairo brothers told him he needed to add protein to his diet, and that was the reason he was out at 2am on January 29, 2019. They were his trainers, and he was allegedly buying eggs upon their consultation. Smollett went after the Osundairos brothers, their character and their credibility. He even made a claim that he had a sexual relationship with one of the brothers, Bola, even though Bola said the opposite while under oath, earlier in the case. Bola said there was absolutely no sexual relationship whatsoever.
When the brothers testified, they detailed the events leading up to the incident, saying that Smollett gave them instructions and money to pay for supplies. Video surveillance even caught the brothers on camera buying the said supplies. By the end of the case, the jury had to decide whether they believed Smollett or the brothers. Their verdict resulted in a guilty judgement against Smollett. He now awaits sentencing. While the court decides his sentence, Smollett will be free.
City Of Chicago Owed $130k In Restitution
Smollett will most likely be required to pay the city of Chicago $130k in restitution. The city claims it cost them that amount to investigate the fake attack. Smollett could be facing a 3-year prison sentence. But with no prior record of criminal activity, he may not do any time in jail at all. His attorneys have made it clear, they will be appealing this case.
Featured image via PBS (REUTERS / Kamil Krzaczynski).