Jussie Smollett, an American actor and one-time star of the TV drama “Empire,” is to spend 150 days in prison for staging a hate crime.
A Chicago court sentenced Smollett for staging a hate crime against himself.
In December last year, Smollett was found guilty of five of the six charges against him.
A Cook County Circuit Court Judge, James Linn also ordered Smollett to pay over $120,000 in restitution and fined him $25,000.
“I’m innocent! I could’ve said I was guilty a long time ago!” Smollett said as he was led away in handcuffs and remanded into custody.
“I did not do this and I am not suicidal and if anything happens to me when I go there, I did not do it to myself and you must all know that.”
He has the right to appeal and said in court on Thursday that he was innocent.
Prosecutors had said Smollett, who is gay, lied to police when he told them he was accosted on a dark Chicago street by two masked strangers in January 2019.
He pleaded not guilty to six counts of felony disorderly conduct.
His case took an unexpected turn in spring 2019 when the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office dropped a 16-count indictment against him in exchange for Smollett forfeiting his $10,000 bond without admitting wrongdoing.
A month later, the Police arrested the actor saying he paid two Nigerian brothers $3,500 to stage the attack to raise his show-business profile.
It would be recalled that Smollett was hospitalized after he was reportedly injured by two men in what looks like a homophobic attack back in January 2019.
Reports had it that he suffered a fractured rib, and the attackers put a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him as they yelled, “This is MAGA country.”