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(CHICAGO) — After just 10 hours of deliberation, a Chicago jury has found actor Jussie Smollett guilty on five of six counts for filing a false police report related to the hoax racist attack he suffered at the hands of two men in January 2019.
The “Empire” actor alleged he was attacked, doused with an unknown liquid, had a noose placed around his neck and called racist and homophobic slurs by two men late at night on a Chicago street. He has maintained it was not orchestrated by himself.
He did not show any reaction as the verdicts were read.
Smollett was charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.
The defense rested its case on Tuesday after a week of testimony, with Smollett taking the stand in his own defense. He alleged Abimbola and Ola Osundairo, the brothers who carried out the assault, were lying when they said during the trial that they were friends of Smollett and had been paid $3,500 to carry out the attack.
Smollett, 39, received widespread support in the wake of the attack and made an emotional appearance at a concert in early February 2019, but then word emerged after authorities spoke to the Osundario brothers’ return from overseas that the attack was allegedly a hoax. Smollett was charged on Feb. 20, 2019, with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson saying the attack was orchestrated because he was unhappy with his salary on the Fox hit show.
The charges were dropped against Smollett in March 2019, but a special prosecutor announced an indictment for the six disorderly conduct charges was handed down in February 2020. Smollett pleaded not guilty.
The jury deliberated for about three hours on Wednesday and then began again on Thursday morning.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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