WASHINGTON (AFP) – US actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to almost five months in prison on Thursday after being found guilty of falsely telling police he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime in 2019 – an attack prosecutors said he himself staged.
The 39-year-old African-American was found guilty in December of “planning” the fake assault by paying two Nigerian brothers USD3,500, and of lying to police in his depositions.
“You really crave the attention and you wanted to get the attention,” Chicago Judge James Linn told the former Empire star as he read out the sentence.
He said the actor had a streak that was “profoundly arrogant and selfish and narcissistic”.
“This was premeditated to the extreme… You’ve destroyed your life as you knew it,” Limn said, adding that “you did damage to real hate crimes victims”.