Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett learned his fate following his conviction of lying to police about a staged attack. A judge sentenced Smollett to 150 days in jail.
In 2019, the 39-year-old entertainer claimed he was attacked by racist/homophobic Donald Trump’s supporters. Smollett was found guilty of five of the six counts on December 9, 2021.
“If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community,” said Smollett during his sentencing hearing.
He continued, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this, and I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.”
The verified Jussie Smollett Instagram account also posted a statement about the situation. A caption on the page read, “OUR BROTHER IS INNOCENT AND WE WILL KEEP FIGHTING. #FreeJussie.”
Jussie Smollett’s family members expressed disappointment over the sentencing. His older brother, Jojo Smollett, told reporters, “[Cook County Judge James Linn] doesn’t know the struggles my brother is encountering. He doesn’t know anything that he’s dealing with… He spent all that time shaming him. In 2022, we don’t shame people like this.”
In addition to serving 150 days in county jail, Jussie Smollett was also ordered to pay more than $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago and a fine of $25,000. The Sum of My Music album creator received 30 months of felony probation as well.