Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail and more than two years of probation Thursday, after he was found guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct in December for filing a false police report amid accusations he staged a hate crime attack on himself in 2019.
“I don’t think money motivated you at all,” Linn told Smollett shortly before delivering Smollett’s sentence. “But the only thing I can find is that you really craved the attention, and you wanted to get the attention, and you were so invested in issues of social justice, and you knew this was a sore spot for everybody in this country.”
Because Smollett does not have a past felony criminal record, he was unlikely to face jail time and was likely be put on probation and ordered to do community service instead, or face a fine and restitution, according to the Associated Press. In 2019, the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit—which was put on hold during the criminal case—against Smollett, seeking to recoup the roughly $130,000 spent in overtime investigating the attack, which Smollett claimed during the trial was not a hoax. Representatives for the city of Chicago sent a letter to Linn last week, asking prosecutors to seek restitution of the funds from Smollett during sentencing to avoid the further expenses of a lawsuit, according to the Chicago Tribune. In the lead up to Smollett’s sentencing, supporters including actor Samuel L. Jackson, Reverend Jesse Jackson, the director of Black Lives Matter and NAACP president Derrick Johnson wrote letters to Linn urging for leniency, some of which were read aloud in court.