Appeal court affirms actor Jussie Smollett’s convictions and jail sentence

1 December 2023, 18:44

Jussie Smollett
Jussie Smollett. Picture: PA

Smollett had reported to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago by two men wearing ski masks.

An appeal court has upheld the disorderly conduct convictions of actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself in 2019 and then lying about it to police.

Smollett, who appeared in the TV show Empire, challenged the role of a special prosecutor, jury selection, evidence and many other aspects of the case.

But all were turned aside in a 2-1 opinion from the Illinois Appellate Court on Friday.

Smollett had reported to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago by two men wearing ski masks.

The hunt for the attackers soon turned into an investigation of Smollett himself, leading to his arrest on charges he had orchestrated the attack.

Authorities said he paid two men whom he knew from work on Empire.

A jury convicted Smollett in 2021 on five felony counts of disorderly conduct, a charge that can be filed in Illinois when a person lies to police.

He now will have to finish a 150-day stint in jail that was part of his sentence. Smollett spent just six days in jail while his appeal was pending.

Lawyers for Smollett have publicly claimed he was the target of a racist justice system and people playing politics.

By Press Association

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