Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot slammed Jussie Smollett Thursday and said the former “Empire” actor’s sentence for faking a hate crime should send a message to others who’d make bogus claims.
“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 was sentenced to 150 days in jail by a Chicago judge.
“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 went on. “The City feels vindicated in today’s ruling that he is being held accountable and that we will appropriately receive restitution for his actions.”
A judge sentenced Smollett to 30 months of probation, including five months in jail, and also ordered the actor to pay Chicago $120,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine.
Smollett was convicted of staging an attack on Jan. 29, 2019 where he claimed two Donald Trump-lovng men put a noose around his neck, splashed him with bleach and hurled racist and homophobic slurs at the actor, who is black and gay.
When Judge James Linn issued Smollett’s sentence on Thursday, the actor blew up in the court and 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 shouted.
“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.”