Actor Jussie Smollett, who was convicted of faking a hate crime and making false reports to police about the incident, has received his sentencing Thursday evening in a Chicago courtroom.
The incident occurred in Jan. 2019, when Smollett alleged that he had been attacked by two people in the 300 block of East Lower North Water Street. He claimed that the assailants had shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him and placed a noose around his neck.
Smollett was indicted for paying two brothers, who had been extras on the TV show "Empire," to help him stage the crime. The city of Chicago also filed suit against the actor to recoup costs incurred while investigating the case.
After charges were dropped in March 2019, a special prosecutor was hired, and in Feb. 2020 new charges were filed in the case. In Dec. 2021, Smollett was convicted on five of six felony counts in connection to the faked attack.
Here are the latest details from his sentencing hearing:
Explainer: Breaking Down Jussie Smollett's Sentence
Jussie Smollett, who was convicted on five of the six counts of felony disorderly conduct that he faced, will also be required to pay a fine of $25,000, as well as restitution to the city of Chicago for costs incurred while investigating the staged attack.
Judge James Linn had the option to sentence Smollett to up to three years in prison on each of the five counts he faced, but instead opted to sentence him to 150 days, to be served in the Cook County Jail.
Linn had the option of sentencing him to the jail for up to one year, according to prosecutors.
Smollett was also sentenced to 30 months of probation in the case. He will still be allowed to travel during that time, and will not be required to live in the state of Illinois during his probation, according to Linn’s ruling.
Finally, Smollett was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine, and to pay restitution of more than $120,000 to the city of Chicago for costs they incurred while investigating the case.
The city had sued Smollett for more than $130,000 to cover costs in the case, but the judge ruled that the $10,000 bond forfeiture from Smollett’s previous case would be applied to that amount.
Watch: Judge Delivers Message to Jussie Smollett Ahead of Sentencing Decision
Judge James Linn delivered a message to Jussie Smollett ahead of sentencing decision. Watch below:
“There’s nothing I can do to you today that will come close to the damage you’ve done to your own life," Linn said.
Jussie Smollett Sentenced to Prison, Probation for Lying to Police in Staged Hate Crime
After an emotional day of testimony on both sides, actor Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to 150 days in jail in connection to a staged hate crime that occurred in Chicago in Jan. 2019.
Smollett will begin his sentence immediately. He was also ordered to pay more than $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago, and was fined $25,000.
He was also sentenced to 30 months of felony probation.
Smollett was convicted of lying to police about the staged attack, which he hired two brothers to help him undertake near his Streeterville apartment.
Prosecutor Seeks Incarceration, $130K Restitution for Jussie Smollett
The special prosecutor who brought the criminal case against Jussie Smollett that led to a guilty verdict against the actor asked a judge Thursday to include “an appropriate amount of prison time” when sentencing Smollett for his conviction of lying to police in a staged hate crime.
Dan Webb said during the sentencing hearing that he would not ask for a specific amount of time, leaving that to Cook County Judge James Linn's discretion. He also asked that Smollett be ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago.
Witnesses for both the state and Smollett testified at Smollett’s sentencing at the Cook County Courthouse. Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, who was called by the state, submitted a statement that was read aloud by Samuel Mendenhall, a member of the special prosecution team.
In the statement, Brown, who became superintendent in April 2020 and wasn’t with the city at the time of Smollett’s police report, said Smollett’s false report of a hate crime harmed “actual victims” of such crimes. Brown asked that the city be compensated for its costs, saying the cost of investigating his claim could have been spent elsewhere in the city.
Court Taking a Break
A recess has been called after testimony from Smollett's family, along with the reading of letters from several different individuals written on his behalf.
Samuel L. Jackson, Wife LaTanya Write Letter Pleading for Leniency for Jussie Smollett
As the former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is scheduled to be sentenced, the letter from Samuel L. Jackson and his wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson asking for leniency when sentencing was read during trial on Thursday.
Smollett Family Pleads for Leniency
Several of Jussie Smollett's family members have testified in court on Thursday, asking for a lenient sentence after the actor's conviction.
His grandmother Molly Smollett joined his brother in taking the stand.
"I will end by saying that Jussie is loved and respected by all who know him," she said. "And I ask you, judge, not to send him to prison. If you do, send me along with him, okay?"
Judge Denies Motions to Dismiss Smollett Conviction, New Trial
A motion to dismiss the conviction of actor Jussie Smollett for lying to Chicago police about a racist and homophobic attack he staged himself was denied Thursday.
Cook County Judge James Linn’s ruling upheld the jury’s verdict from December that found Smollett, who is Black and gay, guilty of five felony counts of disorderly conduct. He was acquitted on a sixth count.
The verdict came after a trial in which prosecutors presented evidence that Smollett planned the attack, hired and paid two men he knew from his work on the show “Empire” to carry it out and bought them supplies they would need.
How Much Jail Time Could Smollett Face?
Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday after being convicted of lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack he staged in Chicago, but how much jail time could he face?
Smollett, who is expected to continue to deny his role in the staged attack in January 2019, faces up to three years in prison for each of the five felony counts of disorderly conduct — the charge filed for lying to police — of which he was convicted. He was acquitted on a sixth count.
But because Smollett does not have an extensive criminal history and the conviction is for a low-level nonviolent crime, experts do not expect that he will be sent to prison. The actor could be ordered to serve up to a year in county jail or, if the judge chooses, be placed on probation and ordered to perform some kind of community service.
Smollett's lead attorney has said that he'll ask the judge to dismiss the charges. But judges rarely grant such motions. That means this could be the final chapter in a criminal case, subject to appeal, that made international headlines when Smollett, who is Black and gay, reported to police that two men wearing ski masks beat him and hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him on a dark Chicago street and ran off.