Actor Jussie Smollett is convicted of plotting an assault on himself. He faces 3 years in prison.
While in 2019, the racist and homophobic attack caused a wave of outrage in the United States, the actor of the series Empire was accused of “planning his own assault.”
According to Jussie Smollett’s lawyers, the actor was attacked by Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, two brothers he met on the set of the series.
According to the prosecution, the man would have paid the sum of 3,500 dollars to his attackers in order to propel his career. For his part, Smollett ensures that this money corresponded to the investment in a sports program developed by Abimbola Osundairo.
The actor faces three years in prison but could only be sentenced to community service.
Nenye Uche, lawyer for Jussie Smollett, said in a post-verdict press conference that they will appeal: “We are 100% confident that we will win this appeal.”
An attack sowing doubt
Smollett pleads not guilty. He claims to have been attacked on the night of January 29, 2019 in a Chicago street by 2 masked men. According to him, they would have claimed to be supporters of Donald Trump and would have hit him by uttering racist and homophobic insults before putting a noose around his neck.
Only, for the prosecution, the comedian engineered the attack to propel his career. He criticized the studio for not taking seriously a threat letter against him, as Abimbola Osundairo explains: “he was talking about studios that did not take the threat letter seriously. “
The analysis of the surveillance cameras had sown doubt among the investigators in charge of the case. Very quickly, they came to the conclusion that the assault was a staging. Eddie Johnson, then Chicago police chief, accused Jussie Smollett of “exploiting the pain and anger that comes from racism.”