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Jussie Smollett found guilty of staging hate crime against himself

The 39-year-old actor was found guilty on five of the six charges he faced by a court on Thursday. Image: Instagram/JussieSmollett

The 39-year-old actor was found guilty on five of the six charges he faced by a court on Thursday. Image: Instagram/JussieSmollett

Published Dec 10, 2021

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Jussie Smollett has been found guilty of staging a hate crime against himself.

The 39-year-old actor was found guilty on five of the six charges he faced by a court on Thursday.

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Smollett was convicted on five counts related to giving a false report to police on the day of the alleged attack, and now faces up to three years in prison.

However, he was found not guilty on the sixth count of giving a false report to police at a later date, after the incident in Chicago in January 2019.

Smollett will be sentenced at a later date.

The 'Empire' star initially reported an alleged attack outside his apartment by two men in ski masks. Smollett claimed that he was subjected to racist and homophobic abuse.

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The actor also alleged that he had an "unknown chemical substance" dumped on him and had a noose put around his neck.

Smollett recently pleaded not guilty to the charges of staging the incident, saying "there was no hoax" as he testified in court.

The actor stood by his claim that the assailants tied a noose around his neck as he rejected earlier testimony from brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo.

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Previously, they claimed he orchestrated the attack and paid them $3 500 (about R56 000) - but Smollett instead insisted that the payment was for a meal and workout plan while he was travelling.

He told his defence lawyer that he "never" gave Abimbola Osundairo payment for the scheme.

Smollett claimed one of the attackers shouted that it was "Maga country", which he believed to be a reference to then-United States President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan.

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However, the brothers told the court that Smollett told them to shout the phrase during the alleged attack.

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