Another verdict on a huge celeb trial is in!
On Thursday, Jussie Smollett was convicted of staging a hate crime — nearly three years after he claimed two Donald Trump supporters beat him up, tied a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him. The Empire alum has been found guilty of orchestrating the incident to look like hate crime in an effort to raise his public profile.
Jurors found that the now-39-year-old had asked Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo to “fake beat him up,” gave them a script of homophobic and racist slurs to deliver, and even selected an area for the fake attack that he thought was in direct view of surveillance cameras.
Without smoking gun evidence, the trial in Chicago criminal court essentially came down to whose story was more believable: Smollett’s or the Osundairo brothers’.
While Jussie’s lawyer argued the Osundairos were “sophisticated liars and criminals” who later offered to recant their story and “tell the truth” in exchange for $2 million, prosecutors said Smollett merely exploited tense race-related social unrest for his own gain and paid the brothers $3,500 to stage the attack so he could get press.
In the end, the jury sided with the prosecution. The actor faces up to three years in jail for the crimes.
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