Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail for falsely claiming to police that he had been the victim of a hate crime.
The former Empire actor was also given 30 months probation by Judge James Linn.
“You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime,” Linn said to Smollett at sentencing on March 10.
In response, Smollett said he was not suicidal and that if anything happens to him while he is incarcerated, “I did not do it to myself.”
A jury found the 39-year-old guilty of five counts of felony disorderly conduct in December 2021. Smollett was found not guilty on one charge of aggravated battery.
In January 2019, Smollett filed a report with the Chicago Police Department saying two men attacked him in the Streeterville neighborhood. He said the men punched and kicked him and used racist and homophobic slurs. He also said they tied a noose around his neck and threw a chemical substance on him.
The incident sparked media outrage, with several public figures releasing statements in support of Smollett.
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie. https://t.co/o8ilPu68CM
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 30, 2019
In the course of their investigation of the 2018 incident, law enforcement uncovered proof that Smollett had staged the attack, paying the men to take part.
More than 3,000 hours were spent investigating Smollett’s alleged attack. Police arrested the actor on Feb 21, 2019.
Judge Linn said the actor had attempted to exploit “real past and current injustices in the U.S.” and his false claims “hurt genuine victims of hate crimes,” according to NBC.
“You took some scabs off some healing wounds and you ripped them apart for one reason: You wanted to make yourself more famous,” Linn said. “And for a while, it worked. Everybody was talking about you.”
Immediately after Linn handed down his sentence, Smollett was taken into custody.
“I am not suicidal! I am innocent! I could have said that I was guilty a long time ago!” he shouted outside the courtroom as he was led away by police.
Jussie Smollett after the sentencing: “I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, you must all know that.” pic.twitter.com/xe2wYpQJ4O
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 11, 2022