The actor was found guilty of staging his ‘homophobic and racist’ attack.
After nearly three years, actor Jussie Smollett has been found guilty of staging the racist and homophobic assault of which he claimed to be victim back in 2019.
The 39-year-old was found guilty after undergoing his trial in Chicago this week, with the verdict being handed down on Thursday 9th December.
Jussie Smollett found guilty of staging 2019 hate crime. https://t.co/ZWX9ZhsyzO
— Complex (@Complex) December 9, 2021
Smollett, who is Black and gay, told police he was accosted by two attackers who shouted discriminatory slurs, told him he was in “MAGA country” (a Trump slogan), dumped a “chemical substance” on him and apparently tied a noose around his neck while he was walking late at night in Chicago on January 29th, 2019.
The full timeline of the case is extensive, though prosecutors accused him of lying “for hours” while on the stand, and he was found guilty of five of the six counts of disorderly conduct.
During the trial, jurors heard from brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who alleged that Smollett orchestrated the attack himself and paid them $3,500 (£2,600) to carry it out.
Smollett still denies all suggestions that he staged the attack or lied about any facet of the incident. The former Empire star became the subject of much debate ever since and was removed from the final two episodes of the season in February 2019.
He was ultimately written out of the show; authorities suggested he staged the alleged assault to boost his profile due to being “dissatisfied with his salary”, despite being paid around $100,000 per episode by the fifth season.
Smollett’s legal team has indicated they intend to appeal the verdict.