Empire Actor Jussie Smollett Found Guilty Of Faking A Hate Crime Against Himself
| Last updated
Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been found guilty of faking a hate crime against him two years ago.
The disgraced star claimed that as he walking home in Chicago masked men wearing MAGA hats approached him and made racist and homophobic remarks.
He then claimed the men beat him up and tied a noose around his neck before running away on January 29.
Smollett reported the alleged hate crime to authorities, however after they started investigating the incident, they found his statements didn't add up.
He was eventually charged with six counts of disorderly conduct by Chicago police and has now been found guilty.
The jury deliberated for around nine hours before reaching their unanimous result.
He's now facing up to three years behind bars for the conviction.
During his trial, brothers Olabingo and Abimbola Osundairo, testified against Smollett and claimed that he paid them $3,500 to douse him with gasoline and throw a noose around his neck.
Smollett said he wrote the cheque for nutrition and training advice from Abimbola Osundairo while he was going to be out of town not as payment for Osundairo and his brother to carry out the attack.
Asked by his defence attorney if he gave Osundairo payment for some kind of hoax, Smollett replied: "Never."
Smollett also testified that Osundairo told him about a herbal steroid that encourages weight loss but is illegal in the US. He said Osundairo told the actor he could get him some 'on the low' - or secretly - while he was on an upcoming trip to Nigeria.
Osundairo testified that Smollett sent him a text message - which the jury saw last week - about talking 'on the low' and that during the conversation Smollett asked him about helping to stage the attack.
But Smollett said on Monday that the message was in reference to the illegal steroid and he used language Osundairo had used previously.
Prosecutors say Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with the Empire studio's response to hate mail he received.