Jussie Smollett: Former Empire Star Sentenced to Five Months in Jail for Hate Crime Hoax

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Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to time behind bars for lying to police about an alleged hate crime.

On Thursday, the former Empire star was told by a judge that he would be given 30 months of felony probation, five months behind bars, and a fine of $25,000.

He was also told he would have to pay over $120,000 in restitution

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News of the sentencing comes months after he was found guilty on five of six felony charges linked to a false police report filed in 2019.

At the time, the actor and musician claimed that he had been beaten up by two white men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him.

He alleged the attackers tied a rope around his neck and poured an "unknown substance" over him, all while saying he was in a "MAGA country."

He also alleged that he had received a threatening letter days before the alleged attack, including racist and homophobic phrases.

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Judge James Linn denied a motion on Thursday to reconsider Smollett's sentence or temporarily stay his jail sentence while his counsel filed an appeal.

"Let me tell you Mr. Smollett, I know that there is nothing that I will do here today that can come close to the damage you've already done to your own life," Linn said.

"You've turned your life upside down by your misconduct and shenanigans, you've destroyed your life as you knew it, and there's nothing that any sentencing judge could do to you that can compare to the damage you've already caused yourself."

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While exiting the courtroom, Smollett had his fist held high, saying the following to the judge:

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.

Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury. But I did not do this, and I am not suicidal — and if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself.

And you must all know that. I respect you, your honor, and I respect your decision.

Paul Dailly was an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic.Follow him on X.

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