On Friday, the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the disorderly conduct convictions of actor Jussie Smollett, known for his role in the TV show “Empire.” Smollett was found guilty of staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself in 2019 and subsequently lying to Chicago police. The court rejected Smollett’s appeals, which challenged various aspects of the trial, including the appointment of a special prosecutor, jury selection, and evidence admissibility.
The case began when Smollett reported being the victim of an assault by two men. However, the investigation shifted focus onto Smollett, leading to allegations that he had orchestrated the attack and paid two acquaintances from “Empire” to carry it out. In 2021, Smollett was convicted on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for making false reports to police.
As part of his sentence, Smollett, who spent six days in jail during his appeal, is now required to complete a 150-day jail term. His legal team has criticized the justice system, citing racial bias and political motivations.
The appellate court’s decision was not unanimous, with Judge Freddrenna Lyle dissenting. Lyle argued that recharging Smollett was “fundamentally unfair,” as he had already complied with a 2019 agreement for community service in exchange for dropping the initial charges.