Speed Reads

verdict is in

Jussie Smollett convicted of lying to police about attack

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.