Jussie Smollett was found guilty of making a false report to police in 2019, CNN reported. The actor said that he was the victim of a hate crime near his Chicago apartment when brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo attacked him and threw a bleach-like liquid on him, as Blavity previously reported.
The former Empire actor was found guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct. He was acquitted on one count of felony disorderly conduct. Prosecutors said he paid the brothers and staged the attack to receive sympathetic media coverage. Smollett had previously pleaded not guilty to the six charges.
The jury had deliberated for more than nine hours between Wednesday and Thursday before reaching a verdict.
The actor appeared to gaze straight ahead as the verdict was read in the courtroom on Thursday. His hands were described to be interlocked on the table in front of him.
Smollett insisted the two men yelled racist and homophobic slurs and hung a noose around his neck during the attack in 2019. However, the brothers said the 39-year-old paid them $3,500 to execute the attack, showing evidence of receiving payment from him.
Police said after Smollett reported the attack, he appeared to only have a few scratches and some bruising. They also said the scratches may have been self-inflicted.
“I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” he said in 2019, according to Vulture. “This has been an incredibly difficult time. Honestly, one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and a man who has knowledge of my history and would not bring my family, our lives and the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t.”
According to CNN, the charge carries a three-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine.