Home LATEST NEWS Jussie Smollett convicted of staging a racist assault

Jussie Smollett convicted of staging a racist assault

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The 39-year-old African-American gay comedian was accused of having planned a false assault by paying $ 3,500 (CDN $ 4,450) to two brothers of Nigerian origin, and of having lied several times to the police in his statements.

The sentence will be pronounced later. He faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, but could only be sentenced to community service.

From supporters by Donald Trump

The actor, who pleaded not guilty, has always claimed to have been attacked in the middle of the night on January 29, 2019 in a street in the metropolis.

Two masked men, claiming to be supporters of President Donald Trump, allegedly hit him with racist and homophobic slurs and put a noose around his neck.

According to his lawyers, Jussie Smollett was attacked by Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, two brothers he met on the set ofEmpire, who were motivated by money and one of whom was homophobic.

Two men wearing glasses walk behind a woman carrying a coat in her hand.

Abimbola and Ola Osundairo walk behind prosecutor Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez at a Chicago courthouse on February 24, 2020.

Photo: Getty Images / Nuccio DiNuzzo

But for the prosecution, the star actor of the hit series Empire engineered the attack to advance his career and because he criticized production studios for not reacting after receiving a threatening letter and phone call.

The two brothers, who were not prosecuted, had delivered damning testimonies against the actor last week.

Harnessing anger from racism

This case had caused a shock in a country still strongly marked by racial and sexual discrimination. Jussie Smollett had received the support of many personalities from the political and cultural world.

The telesurveillance images, the examination of the telephone data of the three men and of videos had however quickly sowed doubt among the investigators, who had concluded in a staging.

False complaints cause real damage, said Eddie Johnson, then Chicago police chief, accusing Mr. Smollett of having exploited the pain and anger of racism.

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