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Jussie Smollett Explodes In Courtroom: ‘I Am Not Suicidal,’ ‘I Did Not Do This’
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 10: Actor Jussie Smollett appears at his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on March 10, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Smollett was found guilty last year of lying to police about a hate crime after he reported that two masked men physically attacked him, yelling racist and anti-gay remarks near his Chicago home in 2019.
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A previous headline quoted Jussie Smollett as saying, “I am not suicidal and I did not do it.” Smollett said “I am not suicidal” and “I did not do this.” The headline has been changed. 

Convicted hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett lashed out in court on Thursday after he was sentenced to 150 days in jail, 30 months on probation, and ordered to pay well over $100,000 in fines and restitution, declaring that he was innocent and that he was not suicidal.

“I am not suicidal,” Smollett claimed, later falsely adding, “I am innocent.”

“If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community,” Smollett continued. “Your Honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.”


Police later obtained footage of the two men, who are brothers, in question and detained them at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport a couple of weeks later after they returned from Nigeria. Police later released the two brothers, saying that they were not suspects in the investigation.

The Associated Press highlighted the following key series of events:

  • Feb. 16, 2019: Police say the investigation has “shifted” after detectives questioned the brothers, and request a follow-up interview with Smollett. His lawyers say he feels “victimized” by reports that he played a role in the assault.
  • Feb. 17, 2019: Chicago police reach out to Smollett’s attorney saying they still want to interview him again because new information has “shifted” their investigation.
  • Feb. 19, 2019: Chicago’s top prosecutor, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, recuses herself from the investigation. Her office says the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution … to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case.”
  • Feb. 20, 2019: Prosecutors charge Smollett with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report about the alleged attack.
  • March 7, 2019: A Cook County grand jury returns a 16-count indictment charging Smollett with falsely reporting an offense.
  • March 26, 2019: Smollett’s attorneys say charges alleging he lied to police have been dropped.
  • March 28, 2019: A city official says Chicago is seeking $130,000 from Smollett to cover the cost of the investigation into his reported beating, which police say was staged.
  • Aug. 23, 2019: Judge names former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb as special prosecutor to investigate why charges against Smollett were dropped.
  • Feb. 11, 2020: Webb says grand jury returns six-count indictment against Smollett, accusing him of lying to police.
  • Dec. 9, 2021: A jury convicts Smollett on five counts of disorderly conduct, and acquits him on a sixth count.


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