American actor Jussie Smollett is sentenced to 150 days in prison for faking an attack on him and lying to the police about it. He will also be fined $ 25,000, and Smollett must, according to American media, pay back $ 120,000 to the city of Chicago for the costs incurred in his case.
Smollett, who is known for the series Empire, claimed in 2019 that he was attacked on the street in Chicago by two men, who used swear words for gays and allegedly shouted “MAGA”, the abbreviation of the slogan Make America Great Again. This was the election slogan of former President Donald Trump.
However, after an extensive investigation by the city of Chicago, it turned out that the two ‘perpetrators’, brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, had received $3500 from Smollett for beating him because of a security camera and putting a noose around his neck.
The judge ruled on Thursday that the actor had been “arrogant, selfish and narcissistic”. According to him, Smollett’s actions have caused a lot of damage to real victims of such crimes, who often struggle to come out with their stories. However, he is also said to have only been out for attention and hoped to be seen with his action as a champion of social equality.
After the verdict, the actor lost his temper in court and started yelling at the judge. Smollett said, among other things, that “if he were to die in prison, it would not be by suicide”.
Smollett’s 92-year-old grandmother attended the verdict and accused the media of misrepresenting his case. She called her grandson “an equality fighter” and told the judge he could also send her to prison if Smollett were punished.