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“Empire” Star Jussie Smollett Blames 150 Days Jail Sentence On Race

Jussie Smollett believes the colour of his skin contributed to the judge sentencing him to five months behind bars for staging a hate crime in 2019.

"Empire" Star Jussie Smollett Blames 150 Days Jail Sentence On Race
Photo of Jussie Smollett in court on the day of his sentence

The actor, 39, popular for his role on Fox drama “Empire” told his defense team before sentencing that he expected jail time and believed he’d be treated harshly due to the colour of his skin, sources told TMZ.

For Smollett, it’s further evidence of systemic racism in the judicial system.

Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 30 months of probation. He must spend the first five months in the Cook County jail.

He was also ordered to pay the city of Chicago $120,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine after he was found guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct following his eight-day trial late last year.

In 2019, Smollett alleged he was beaten up by two white men in ski masks as he strolled to get food. According to him, they tied a noose around his neck, yelled racial slurs at him, and screamed “This is a MAGA country,” as they fled the scene.

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The jury of six men and six women on December 9, 2021, declared him guilty.

The charges include lying to the police and disorderly conduct for a false crime report to gain publicity.

Jussie Smollett however maintained his innocence, insisting he was beaten by the Osundairo brothers who the court says he paid to attack him

While Smollett declined to speak before his sentence was handed down, he immediately began to proclaim his innocence as he was led away in handcuffs.

“I’m innocent! I could’ve said I was guilty a long time ago!” Smollett stated in court.

"Empire" Star Jussie Smollett Blames 150 Days Jail Sentence On Race
Smollett screaming his innocence after his sentence is read

“I am not suicidal. I am innocent and I’m not suicidal. If I did this, then it means that I shoved my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community,” Smollett shouted.

“Your honour, I respect you and I respect your decision, but I did not do this.  I am not suicidal and if anything happens to me when I go there, I did not do it to myself. You must all know that,” he shouted.


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