Imprisoned for feigning racist assault

US actor Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to 150 days in prison for allegedly racist and homophobic assault on himself. According to media reports, a judge in Chicago also sentenced the 39-year-old to a 30-month suspended sentence on Thursday (local time) and to pay around $120,000 (around €110,000) as compensation for the police investigation. He also has to pay a $25,000 fine. Smollett again protested his innocence when the sentence was announced. “I didn’t do that, I’m innocent,” he cried.

The jury had already found the former star of the US series “Empire” guilty on most of the charges in December. The public prosecutor accused the African-American actor of having staged the alleged attack himself and thus having harmed real victims of racist aggression. The headline-grabbing case began in January 2019, when Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men near his home at night.

He was later arrested for alleged false statements. According to investigators, he is said to have paid the men, two brothers, to fake the attack against him. The gay actor wanted to advance his career, it said. Judge James Linn reportedly accused Smollett of arrogance, selfishness and narcissism. “You are not a victim of a racist hate crime. You are not a victim of a homophobic hate crime. You are just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime and that is shameful,” the judge was quoted as saying.

He ordered the actor taken straight to the Cook County Jail. When he was taken away, Smollett reportedly expressed concern that something might happen to him there: “I’m not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, then I didn’t do it to myself. ”His lawyers announced that they would appeal the verdict.

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