American actress Jussie Smollett lied to police when she claimed she was a victim of racism and xenophobia, a Chicago judge has found. Smollett, 39, is facing a controversy at trial this week.
Prosecutors say he “lied for hours” on stage when he repeated what he told Chicago police.
He was found guilty of five misconduct counts on Thursday.
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Each sentence carries a fine of up to three years in prison. Given the paucity of Smollett’s previous cases, experts say a simple sentence or test is possible. Judgment Day has not yet been determined.
A day after the trial, a judge of six men and six women delivered the verdict.
The case stems from an incident almost three years ago, in January 2019, when a former Empire TV star told police that he was the victim of an attack.
Smollett, a black man and a gay man, told police he was attacked by two assailants who insulted him, slammed Trump, poured “chemistry” on him and put a rope around his neck while walking through the night. Tied up. Chicago.
Authorities launched an investigation into the attack, but in February of that year, police accused Smollett of filing a false police report, claiming he was the perpetrator.
He faces a total of six counts, each based on separate charges when he is Jussie Smollett of lying to the police. He was found guilty of five of the six charges, meaning the last had not yet been found in court.
At trial, the judges heard Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, claiming that Jussie Smollett had planned the attack and paid them $3,500 (£2,600) to do so.
Smollett said a check for a diet and exercise program from Abimbola, More than a friend and Empire, a TV drama about the origins of hip hop. Asked whether he paid the accused for the charges, Smollett replied: “No.
He also revealed that he and Abimbola were dating before the alleged assault.
Special Prosecutor Dan Webb questioned the actor several times about the “difficult” attack. Each time, Smollett denies the allegations.
“I was not deceived,” he said. “Any question you ask will be rejected.”
In his closing remarks, Mr. Webb said Smollett had urged Chicago police to use more resources to investigate the case.
Webb said, “Unless it is illegal, it is never right to dismiss something serious as a genuine hate crime and to ensure that words and symbols with significant history are included in our country. “
Outside the court after reading the verdict, Mr Webb said that “for Mr Smollett to stand before [a judge] and lie for hours, it greatly reinforced his misconduct”.
Describing Smollett’s repeated lies during the trial as “impossible”, he said it would be a matter for the judge to pass his sentence.
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Smollett’s lawyer, Nenny Uche, said the team “unequivocally does not agree with the judge’s decision”, and is “100% sure” that the case will be dismissed if it is transferred.
Officials said Smollett wanted to make a name for himself because he was “not satisfied with his salary” in the state. For the fifth season of the show, he said he was paid $100,000 for each episode.
He was last recorded during an argument over alleged attack.