Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reacted positively to Jussie Smollett being sentenced to 150 days in prison for staging a hate crime back in 2019.
“The criminal conviction of Jussie Smollett by a jury of his peers and today’s sentencing should send a clear message to everyone in the City of Chicago that false claims and allegations will not be tolerated,” Lightfoot said in a statement after Smollett the sentencing.
Smollett, who is Black and gay, claimed that he was attacked in downtown Chicago in January 2019 by two white men who yelled racist and anti-gay slurs and put a noose around his neck. He also claimed they poured bleach on him.
“The malicious and wholly fabricated claim made by Mr. Smollett resulted in over 1500 hours of police work that cost the City over $130,000 in police overtime,” she continued. “The City feels vindicated in today’s ruling that he is being held accountable and that we will appropriately receive restitution for his actions.”
On top of the five months in jail, the judge also ordered the actor to pay Chicago $120,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine.
“You’re not the victim of a racist hate crime, you’re not the victim of a homopobic hate crime, you’re just a charlatan pretending to be the victim of a hate crime and that’s shameful especially,” Judge James Linn told the court.
After the judge handed down Smollett’s sentence on Thursday, he screamed out, “I’m innocent!”
“If I did this, then it means that I shoved my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community,” Smollett hollered while being led away from the court. “Your honor, I respect you and I respect your decision, but I did not do this and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.”