Empire Star Jussie Smollett Has Been Found Guilty Of Lying To Police About Hate Crime

Jussie Smollett on Empire
(Image credit: Fox)

Jussie Smollett's trial is finally at an end, and it did not work out favorably for the former Empire star. The jury delivered a verdict for the charges that Smollett falsely reported a racist and homophobic hate crime in January of 2019 and found the actor guilty. 

Out of the six counts of disorderly conduct on suspicion of making false reports to police, CNN reported a jury found Jussie Smollett guilty on five counts. The actor was acquitted of the sixth charge, a felony count of disorderly conduct. Smollett will now be at the mercy of the judge's discretion for the Class Four felony, which is punishable by three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Judge James Linn will have the option of sentencing Smollett to a concurrent or consecutive sentence for each count at a later time. 

The guilty verdict is the latest chapter in Jussie Smollett's story, which began back in early 2019 when the actor claimed two men attacked him in Chicago while shouting racist and homophobic slurs at him. An investigation by police later led to questions about the validity of the attack and even suggested that Smollett hired and paid the men to conduct the attack on him. Smollett was charged for making false reports but maintained his innocence and pled not guilty to all charges. 

The brothers responsible for the attack, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, testified in court that Jussie Smollett paid them $100 for supplies and wrote an additional $3,500 check for the men to attack him while shouting homophobic and racist slurs. Jussie Smollett took the stand during the trial to refute the claims and alleged that the money was for a weight loss supplement that is illegal in the United States that Abimbola Osundairo could pick up on a trip to Nigeria. Smollett also alleged he met  Osundairo at a club in 2017 and that the two men had a sexual relationship for a time. 

The jury's verdict indicates they didn't believe the story by Jussie Smollett, and rather the narrative of the Chicago police and Osundairo brothers that he arranged the attack possibly in an effort to garner sympathetic media coverage. 

Instead, the scandal completely derailed Jussie Smollett's acting career, which was on the rise at the time. Smollett, who appeared in The Mighty Ducks as a child, had found great success at that point with a starring role in the Fox drama Empire. The series initially stood by the actor when the controversy first started but ultimately decided to sever ties. 

The world can only wait and see if this is the end of Jussie Smollett's legal drama or if more will come as the actor prepares for sentencing and explores any other avenues he may have. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more updates on the situation and other major headlines in movie and television news.  

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.