Custom Search 1

Jussie Smollett could face prison if he lied about attack

QUESTIONS: Jussie Smollett

ACTOR JUSSIE Smollett could face prison time if it turns out he lied about being the victim of a hate crime attack, Variety reports.

The Empire star claimed he was beaten up on Jan. 29 by two ‘MAGA-supporting’ men who used racial and homophobic slurs. While Smollett received an outpour of support from fans and celebrities including Michael B. Jordan and political figure Sen. Kamala Harris, the follow up to this incident has been met with many questions.

Smollett’s account is now being challenged, with police investigating whether or not he paid two acquaintances, Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, to stage the attack.

Ronn Torossian, founder of 5W Public Relations said to Variety: “The best thing that Jussie can do is pray and pray a lot. If he made it up, he has big problems in both the court of law and the court of public opinion.”

Chicago police confirmed on Tuesday (Feb 19) that they received a tip from someone claiming to have seen the three men together in an elevator of Smollett’s apartment building on the night of the attack. However, later in the day, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that the tip was unfounded.

According to Variety, If Smollett falsified a police report, this counts as a Class 4 felony in Illinois, and carries a potential sentence of one to three years in prison. He could also be ordered to pay restitution to compensate for the cost of the Chicago Police Department investigation.

“It’s a very, very, very serious situation,” said Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor who now works in criminal defense in Chicago. “He’s got some very significant exposure.”

Smollett has retained two criminal defense attorneys, Victor Henderson and Todd Pugh, who’ve denied that he staged the attack.

In the meantime, the actor’s scenes will be cut from the Fox television show as probes continue, according to Deadline.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments