Jussie Smollett was found guilty today (December 9).
The jury ruled he was guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report to police that he was a victim of a hate crime in 2019. He was acquitted on one count of felony disorderly conduct.
As reported on CNN, he’s facing a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in prison. He may also have to pay a $25,000 fine. Sentencing will be at a later date.
In January 2019, the Empire actor accused two men of attacking him and yelling out racial slurs. The incident happened in Chicago, and it was captured on camera. Two Nigerian brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, were arrested over the situation. The two brothers claim Smollett paid them to stage the fight, while Jussie said it wasn’t a fake attack.
Initially, when reports surfaced, Jussie’s story seemed believable, but later on, authorities began to question it. Jussie always maintained the attack was real.
Abimbola took the stand and told the court that Jussie wanted him to “fake beat him up.” He admitted in court that he was paid $3500 to fake the crime. Abimbola said,
“He explained that he wanted me to fake beat him up. I agreed to do it because most importantly, I felt indebted to him, to Jussie. He also got me a stand-in role on ‘Empire,’ and I also believed that he could help further my acting career.”
Abimbola explained Jussie told him he was upset over hate Mail he received, and Jussie felt the network wasn’t taking it seriously. Abimbola continued,
“He wanted me to punch him but he wanted me to pull the punch so I didn’t hurt him and then he wanted me to tussle him and throw him to the ground and give him a bruise. Then he wanted it to look like he was fighting back, so I was supposed to give him a chance to fight back and then eventually throw him to the ground and my brother would tie the noose around his neck and pour bleach on him.”
Abimbola also said Jussie told him and his brother to say racial slurs like “this is MAGA country,” “N****r,” and “f****t,” to make it “more real.”
The two brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo were also extras in Empire. Abimbola explained he felt obligated to help Jussie out because he thought it could advance his acting career.