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Jussie Smollett to appeal guilty verdict

Jussie Smollett will be appealing after he was found guilty of orchestrating a racist and homophobic attack on himself. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Jussie Smollett will be appealing after he was found guilty of orchestrating a racist and homophobic attack on himself. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Published Dec 10, 2021

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Jussie Smollett will be appealing after he was found guilty of orchestrating a racist and homophobic attack on himself.

The 39-year-old actor was found guilty of five charges of disorderly conduct on Thursday for giving a false report to police on the day of the alleged attack in January 2019 but was deemed not guilty of a sixth charge of the same offence at a later date, and his team have hit out at the "inconsistent" verdict.

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The 'Empire' star's lawyer, Nenye Uche said his client was disappointed by the verdict because he is "100% innocent" but they are confident an appeal will see him "cleared of all, all accusations on all charges."

He added during a press conference after the hearing in Chicago: "The verdict is inconsistent. You can’t say Jussie is lying and say Jussie is not lying for the same exact incident.

"We are confident in our appellate system. "We are confident in our Illinois Supreme Court, and we're confident that at the end of the day, what's out there in the news media and in the gossip forums are not going to stand a chance in court."

After the verdict was delivered, Cook County Judge James Linn set a post-trial hearing for 27 January and said he would schedule Smollett's sentencing at a later date.

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Each felony count carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, but the actor could be punished with community service and placed on probation.

Smollett initially reported an alleged attack outside his apartment by two men in ski masks, during which he claimed that he was subjected to racist and homophobic abuse, had an "unknown chemical substance" dumped on him and had a noose put around his neck.

Giving evidence in court earlier this week, he maintained "there was no hoax".

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The actor stood by his claim that the assailants tied a noose around his neck as he rejected earlier testimony from brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo.

Previously, they claimed he orchestrated the attack and paid them $3,500 - but Smollett instead insisted that the payment was for a meal and workout plan while he was travelling.

He told his defence lawyer that he "never" gave Abimbola Osundairo payment for the scheme.

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Smollett claimed one of the attackers shouted that it was "Maga country", which he believed to be a reference to then-United States President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan.

However, the brothers told the court that Smollett told them to shout the phrase during the alleged attack.

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