Actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty Thursday on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for falsely reporting to police in January 2019 that he was attacked in a hate crime.
He was acquitted on one count. The trial was held in Chicago, and the jury — six men and six women — deliberated for about nine hours, CBS News reports.
Smollett told police that while walking near his Chicago home at 2 a.m., he was attacked by two men who dumped a chemical on him and yelled "racist and homophobic slurs." Later, brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo said they had been paid by Smollett to fake the attack on a sidewalk, as he wanted it captured on surveillance camera so the video could spread on social media. Prosecutors said Smollett paid the brothers, who both took the stand during the trial, $3,500 for their assistance.
Smollett also testified, claiming that he had a sexual relationship with Abel Osundairo and that's why he exchanged text messages with the brothers; Abel Osundairo has denied they were in a relationship. Smollett also stated that the attack was not staged, declaring, "There was no hoax."
A disorderly conduct charge for a false crime report is punishable for up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Smollett will be sentenced at a later date.