Jussie Smollett, a former cast member of the popular television show "Empire," has been found guilty on Thursday, Dec. 9, of orchestrating a fake attack on himself and lying to police officers about the nature of the supposed assault.

Smollett has been found guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct by a jury who deliberated on his case for over nine hours. He was largely stoic during the reading of the verdict, and his defense attorney Nenye Uche said that they will be appealing the decision, CNN reported.

The alleged attack happened in 2019, when Smollett claimed that a racist man in Chicago wrapped a noose around his neck and threw an unknown substance on his face while screaming “This is MAGA country," according to ABC News Australia.

However, when police reviewed surveilance footage in the area of the alleged attack, they were unable to find evidence of what supposedly happened. They then arrested two Nigerian men who claimed that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to stage the assault as a way of increasing his salary on "Empire."

“This announcement today recognizes that 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

Smollett has continued to deny that he faked the attack, saying that he initially refused to call the police regarding his assailants because of the police’s history of racism against black people as well as members of the LGBT community.

“I am a black man in America. I do not trust the police,” he said. “I am also a well-known figure at that time, and I am an openly gay man.”

Smollett’s character was written out of "Empire’s" final season following the attack, in spite of his contract being renewed. He is likely to face at least three years in prison as well as a $25,000 fine for the guilty verdict.

“Besides being against the law, it is just plain wrong to outright denigrate something as serious as a real hate crime and then make sure it involved words and symbols that have such historical significance in our country,” special prosecutor Dan Webb said.

Jussie Smollett arrives with family members at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for his trial on disorderly conduct charges on Dec. 6, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The former "Empire" star is accused of making false reports to authorities that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.