Disgraced actor Jussie Smollett went on a rant inside a Chicago courtroom after he was handed an exemplary sentence for staging a hate crime.
Judge describes Jussie Smollett as attention-thirsty narcissist
On Thursday, Smollett’s defence team exhausted their final bid to prevent the 39-year-old from getting jail time.
In December 2021, the former Empire actor was found guilty of five counts of felony disorderly conduct for falsely claiming he was brutally assaulted by two racist and homophobic men, who shouted slurs at him, tied a noose around his neck and dumped a ‘chemical’ substances on him, while on his way to a Subway in downtown Chicago, in the wee hours of a cold and blizzard-hit morning, in January 2019.
In a victim statement submitted by the Chicago Police Department (CPD), it was revealed that authorities committed 30 officers to the investigation which was spread over 1 426 regular hours and 1 837 overtime.
After hearing statements from both sides, including pleas for leniency from the likes of Jessie Jackson and Samuel L Jackson, Judge James Linn determined a jail term of 150 days imprisonment, 30 months probation and $145 000 (est. R2.18 million) was a fitting sentence for a man he described as “a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime.”
“There is nothing that I can do here today that can come close to the damage you’ve already done to your own life. You’ve turned your life upside down by your conduct and shenanigans,” Linn said.
Here are more of the piercing words Linn delivered in his sentencing:
Watch: Jussie doubles down in courtroom outburst
Smollett was offered an opportunity to address the court after his sentence was delivered, and in a shocking display, the actor doubled down on his supposed innocence, claiming he was not suicidal but that ” if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself.”
“If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBT community,” he exclaimed.
Jussie Smollett first mugshot post-sentence released
Smollett, who had already committed hundreds of hours in community service as part of a plea agreement that was later overturned, will spend the next 150 days at the Cook County Jail, one of the roughest and largest single-site correctional centres in the United States.
According to Correctional Officer, Cook County Jail houses “some of the roughest killers in the country who are there for life with no possibility of parole.”
A county jail is different from a state prison. The latter is a corrections centre for convicted criminals sentenced to lengthy jail terms. A county jail, on the other hand, holds criminals serving jail sentences less than 12 months.
It also serves as a transitional centre for hardcore criminals awaiting sentences. Therefore, in all likelihood, Smollett will share living quarters with cold-blooded murderers, sexual deviants and other hardened criminals for the next four months.
Once released, he will have to avoid crossing hairs with law enforcement while he is on a 30-month probation period.
This was the image of the disgraced actor, taken after he was booked into Cook County Jail on Thursday evening.