- BBC News World
Actor Jussie Smollett lied to police about an alleged homophobic racist attack he said he was a victim of in Chicago.
This was established by the jury after an operation in which the 39-year-old actor insisted he had not orchestrated the attack on himself.
Prosecutors claimed there was “compelling evidence” that the actor had lied to Chicago police.
This Thursday He was convicted of five of the six counts What was he facing? for disturbing public order.
Each indictment is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Since there have been no previous convictions, experts say a reduced sentence or probation is likely.
A jury of six men and six women reached the verdict a day after deliberations began.
The trial stemmed from an incident that took place nearly three years ago, in January 2019, when the actor became famous for his role in the TV series. empire Tell the police he was the victim of an attack
Smollett, who is black and gay, reported that he was assaulted by two assailants who insulted him, chanted the Trump slogan, doused him with a “chemical” and hung a rope around his neck as he walked at night in Chicago.
The authorities opened an investigation into the attack, but in February of that year Police accused Smollett of masterminding the attack and make a false report.
At the trial, the jurors heard testimony from brothers Abimbola and Olabingo Osondaero, who said Smollett himself orchestrated the attack and paid them. $3,500 USD To implement.
The actor claimed the check was a boost to a nutrition and exercise plan from Abimbola, Smollett’s friend and more at empire.
When asked by his defense attorney if he had given the man money for the alleged setup, Smollett replied, “Never.”
He also testified that he and Abimbola had a sexual relationship prior to the alleged attack.
Special counsel Dan Webb repeatedly asked the actor if the attack was orchestrated. Smollett has denied it on all occasions.
“There was no montage on my part,” he declared. “Any questions you ask about it will be denied.”
waste of resources
Each of the charges the actor faced corresponded to different cases in which he was accused of lying. Only one of them was not proven at trial.
In his closing statement, Webb said Smollett had the Chicago police spend numerous resources investigating the alleged attack.
Besides being against the law, it is simply wrong to defame something as serious as committing an actual hate crime [el ataque] It includes words and symbols that have such historical significance in our country.”
Authorities say Smollett wanted to boost his profile because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” at empire. For the show’s fifth season, Smollett said he was paid $4,100,000 per episode.
He was eventually fired from the program as a result of the controversy.
You can now receive push notifications from BBC News Mundo. Download and activate our app so you don’t miss our best content.