Jury finds Jussie Smollett guilty of staging homophobic, racist hate crime

Fri. December 10, 2021 5:09 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

photo credit // steven koch
A jury in Chicago on Thursday found out actor Jussie Smollett guilty on five felony charges.

Smollett, who is black and came out gay in 2015, told police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault in downtown Chicago on January 29, 2019. Smollett said that two men hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him and told him that he was in “MAGA country.”

Prosecutors allege that Smollett staged the attack as a PR stunt.

According to CNN, Smollett was found guilty of “five counts of disorderly conduct for making false reports to police” and “acquitted on one count of felony disorderly conduct.” Smollett faces a sentence of up to 3 years.

The jury, made up of 12 people, deliberated for nine hours over Wednesday and Thursday.

Special prosecutor Daniel Webb argued that Smollett had paid brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo $3,500 to attack him three years ago.

Webb called the evidence against Smollett “overwhelming.”

Under cross-examination from Webb, Smollett, who is best known for playing Jamal Lyon on Fox's Empire, said it was “fully false, 100 percent false” that he planned or paid anyone to stage the attack against him.

Webb told reporters that Smollett, 39, had lied under oath. “Mr. Smollett would not have lost this case, as he did today, unless the jury found that he lied to them,” he said.

Webb took over the case after 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct were initially dropped, sparking questions as to whether Smollett had received preferential treatment.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine