4:55 PM PT — Jussie’s defense team just spoke, and they made it clear they’re going to appeal the case.
3:21 PM PT — Ola Osundairo just briefly spoke with reporters outside the court house … wishing his brother good luck at his boxing match tonight and exclaiming “Nigerian lives matter!”
Jussie Smollett is guilty of lying to Chicago cops, and the world, about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack, according to the jury — or said more simply … it was all a hoax.
Jurors found the “Empire” actor guilty of 5 of the 6 felony counts against him, and he stood stone-faced in court as the verdicts were read. Jussie was facing disorderly conduct charges for allegedly providing a false report to police … with prosecutors ringing him up for each time he did it.
The first 5 counts were for lying on Jan. 29, 2019 to cops — that’s the night of the staged attack. The 6th, of which he was found not guilty, was for a separate interview with Chicago PD on Feb. 14 when he told a detective he was a victim of aggravated burglary.
The verdicts finally put the criminal side of this saga to bed. Jussie had maintained his innocence for years, insisting he did not hire brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo to stage the racist and homophobic attack in the middle of a bitterly frigid Chicago night.
The brothers watched the guilty verdict announcement from an overflow room in the Chicago courthouse.
Now that Jussie’s been found guilty he’ll almost certainly have to pay restitution to Chicago in the amount of $130k — the amount the city says it dropped on investigating the hoax attack.
During the trial, defense attorneys took the calculated risk of having Jussie testify … something criminal defendants rarely do. While on the stand, he gave his blow-by-blow account of what happened during the attack … explaining he’d gone out at 2 AM to buy eggs because the Osundairo bros. — who he’d hired as personal trainers — told him he needed protein.
Most importantly, his testimony aimed to poke holes in the Osundairos’ credibility. For instance, he detailed sexual encounters he claims to have had with Bola … even though Bola had stated the exact opposite under oath — that they had NO sexual relation.
The brothers also testified Jussie paid them to buy supplies and provided instructions on where to meet him to carry out the “attack.” In the end, the trial boiled down to a he said/he said, and obviously, the jury wasn’t swayed by a celeb on the stand.
You’ll recall … Jussie initially claimed 2 white males jumped him, hurled slurs at him, punched him, threw a noose around his neck … all while screaming, “This is MAGA country!!!”
He reported the alleged crime to police … greeting them at his home with the rope still wrapped around his neck. Soon, doubts started to surface about Jussie’s story — and eventually, the police came out and claimed the guy had made the whole thing up.
Jussie denied that, but he was ultimately charged in connection to the alleged lie … but, stunningly, those whopping 16 charges were dismissed — with Jussie only having to forfeit his $10k bond as punishment. After much uproar, a special prosecutor was appointed, and he charged Jussie anew … this time only charging with 6 counts.
There was also the issue of whether the Osundairo brothers were actually Jussie’s drug dealers or not — the bros claimed they weren’t (that they were simply suppliers) but Jussie’s team argued they were far more than just that … seemingly trying to ding their credibility.
Despite Jussie testifying there was “no hoax” … the jury wasn’t buying it. He now faces a possible 3-year prison sentence, but it remains to be seen if he’ll actually do any time behind bars. Keep in mind, he has no prior criminal record.
He was not taken into custody, and will remain free pending sentencing.
The City of Chicago had sued Jussie over lost resources in investigating his claims, but if he has to pay back that dough as part of his sentence … that civil suit would be moot.
Originally Published — 3:21 PM PT
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