Who is Jussie Smollett? He is an American singer, actor, and director. He began his career in 1987 films and stage productions. As Jamal Lyon on Fox’s musical drama series Empire, he shot to fame in 2015.
The actor was sentenced to prison on Thursday, March 14, after being found guilty of staging an attack against himself. Not guilty pleas were made by the “Empire” star on all 16 charges. Still, he was ultimately convicted of falsifying a police report. This complete timeline of events takes you through the entire story.
January 29, 2019: Jussie Smollett Reports About the Attack
On January 29, 2019, Jussie Smollett reported to the police that two unknown men attacked him.
He said that they struck him and tied a cord around his neck. They also sprayed him with an unknown chemical.
He also said that the attackers had mentioned MAGA (make America great again), a slogan Donald Trump and his supporters often used.
However, hospital officials said that the victim had been discharged and was in “good spirits” following the attack.
January 30, 2019: Many Celebrities Supported Jussie Smollett After His Attack
Many celebrities took to social media to share their support for actor Jussie Smollett.
Viola Davis, Janelle Monae, and TI were just a few stars who spoke out in support of the actor as well as his colleagues Grace Byers and Naomi Campbell did. All shared messages of love and hope for justice for Jussie.
January 31, 2019: Actor Jussie Smollet Refused to Give His Phone to the Police
On January 31, 2019, actor Jussie Smollett refused to give his phone to the police when they requested it as part of their investigation into a possible hate crime against him.
The actor initially cooperated with the police and gave them a description of his attackers.
The security footage from his apartment building showed two men approaching him just before the attack occurred.
When the police requested to see his phone, he refused, stating that he was concerned about privacy concerns. The police continued their investigation without Smollett’s phone.
February 1, 2019: Jussie Smollett Actor Comments on the Attack for the First Time
In an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, Jussie Smollett spoke about the attack for the first time.
He said that he was “pissed off”.
In addition, the actor claimed that his assailants hurled racist and homophobic epithets at him and tied a cord around his neck as punishment.
He described the experience as “traumatizing.”
February 2, 2019: Statement From Jussie Smollett “I’m Gay Tupac.”
At his concert, which took place in West Hollywood, actor Jussie Smollett made a sudden out-of-the-blue statement during his performance.
He said, “I’m gay Tupac” to the crowd’s surprise.
This was not the first time the actor had spoken about his sexual orientation in public.
In 2015, he came out as gay during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres.
February 11, 2019 Smollett Provided Edited Phone Records
On February 11, 2019, Smollett turned over heavily edited phone records to Chicago police officers investigating a claim that he had been the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime.
The decision to edit the phone records proved a fateful one for the actor.
February 14, 2019: Police Arrested Possible Perpetrators Who Attacked Smollett
On February 14, 2019, two Nigerian-American brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, were arrested by the Chicago Police Department as potential suspects in the attack.
The men were picked up at International Airport after returning from Nigeria.
Police found several items in the brother’s apartment, including a black ski mask and cord similar to what was used in the attack on Smollett.
Notably, the actor knew those brothers. They had previously worked with him on the show.
Why Was Jussie Smollett Arrested? Case Took an Unexpected Turn
The case took an unexpected turn when Chicago police released two Nigerian brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who had been detained as “possible suspects” in the attack.
Instead, the Chicago police said the brothers had “provided information” that led detectives to Jussie Smollett
H3 February 20, 2019: Police Charged Jussie Smollett
On February 20, 2019, Smollett was officially charged with filing a false police report by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
He faced up to three years in prison and forfeiture of his $100,000 bond if convicted.
February 21, 2019: Police arrested Jussie Smollett
On February 21, 2019, Jussie Smollett was arrested for making a false police report, a felony.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said, “He orchestrated his stunt because he was dissatisfied with his salary.”
Police added that the actor had been planning the hoax for ” several weeks” and that he had sent himself hate mail before the incident. In addition, the brothers had received payment for their participation before the attack occurred.
February 22, 2019: Jussie Smollett Had Been Boarded From Empire
On February 22, 2019, the actor Jussie Smollet was officially written off from the last remaining episodes of Season Five of Empire.
20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment released a joint statement: “The past few weeks’ events have been incredibly emotional for all of us. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out.”
February 25, 2019: Evidence For Jussie Smollett Verdict – Police Examined and Questioned the Check
On February 25, 2019, police investigated the $3500 bill that was given to Abel by Smollett. Here was written “For the final extra work on Empire” and had Jussie’s signature. Police also questioned why the two brothers would receive such a large amount of money for something that the actor could have quickly done himself.
March 1, 2019: Osundairo Brothers Expressed Regret That They Staged Attack With Smollett
The Osundairo brothers, whom Smollett paid to stage the attack, expressed regret for their involvement in an interview with ABC News, “We are not racist and homophobic.”
H3 March 13, 2019 Empire Aired the First New Episode Since Smollett Verdict
On March 13, 2019, the first new episode of Empire since the actor’s attack aired. The episode was dedicated to Smollett and his family. In it, a character named Jamal Lyon (played by him) is seen in a hospital bed, recovering from an assault.
March 14, 2019: Jussie Smollett Enters a Not-Guilty Plea
On March 14, Jussie Smollett appeared in court in Chicago and entered a not guilty plea to 16 felony charges of disorderly behavior.
March 20, 2019: Empire Creator Left Comment About Jussie Smollett Sentence
Lee Daniels expressed his frustration about Jussie Smollett sentence. He said that he and the cast experienced pain and anger. Lee Daniels also added that all that story was opposite to the main idea of their show which was created to unite America.
March 26, 2019: Smollett Was Cleared of All Charges
On March 26, 2019, all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped. The actor was originally accused of faking an attack against himself. However, after further investigation, prosecutors determined that there was insufficient evidence to convict Smollett of any crime.
This decision caused a great deal of controversy. Many people believed that the actor should have been convicted and punished for staging the attack.
However, others felt that the charges were unfair and that the actor should not have had to go through such a public trial.
March 27, 2019: Lawyer of Jussie Smollett Informed That “Case Closed.”
In a March 27 phone call, the attorney of Jussie Smollett was given the news that the “case is closed.” And no charges would be filed against him, according to a transcript of the conversation released by Chicago police.
The “Empire” actor was released on a $10,000 bond.
March 28, 2019: Trump Left a Tweet About Smollett Verdict
On March 28, Trump tweeted about the issue, writing: “Why doesn’t the FBI investigate the attacks on Jussie Smollett – they would find out what really happened!” He also called Smollett “one of the worst actors in Hollywood.”
March 29, 2019: Police Ordered Smollett to Pay For Overtime
On March 29, 2019, the Chicago Police Department announced that Jussie Smollett had been ordered to pay $130,106.15 to the city of Chicago to cover the cost of overtime hours worked by police officers during their investigation into his alleged attack.
April 12, 2019: The City of Chicago Sued the Actor Jussie Smollett
The city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Jussie Smollett on April 12, 2019, alleging that the actor had “intentionally misled” authorities and wasted their time and resources.
He refused to pay back the investigation’s expenses to the city.
April 23, 2019: Osundairo Brothers Sued Attorneys Of Smollett
On April 23, 2019, the Osundairo brothers sued the attorneys of Jussie Smollett for defamation. The brothers claimed that they were bullied after the case.
April 30, 2019: Fox Studio Denied the Plans to Return Smollett to ‘Empire’
On April 30, 2019, Fox Studio denied the plans to return Smollett to ‘Empire.’ The studio claimed that they had not made any decisions about his future on the show.
June 24, 2019: Police Released Shocking Footage With Jussie Smollett
Smollett was still wearing a cord around his neck in this video taken by a police officer at his residence. When he was asked how he was doing, the actor replied, “I just want you to see it”
February 12, 2020: Six New Accusations of Smollett
On February 12, 2020, an actor was accused in 6 cases of lying to the police. The actor was identified as Jussie Smollett by the Chicago Police Department. Dan Webb, a prosecutor, was appointed to investigate the handling of the case by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
November 29, 2021: The Trial of Smollett Began
Authorities said that Jussie Smollett staged the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” in the show.
However, Dan Webb stated no evidence to back up the claim that Smollett was unhappy with his salary.
The actor denied his guilt, and his lawyers said that the brothers had changed their story.
December. 9, 2021: Smollett Was Convicted of a Crime
Five of six cases were proven for the actor Jussie Smollett. Each case’s penalty was three years imprisonment, to be served concurrently. Experts said that the decision was “a”victory for the rule of law.”
March 11, 2022:The Judgment and Penalty As Smollett Verdict
Three years after the staged attack, the actor Jussie Smollett was given 150 days in jail and a fine of about $150,000.
Before that day he said, “have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of.”
Jussie Smollett has been through a lot in the past year. He has had quite the journey from being arrested and charged with faking his attack to being sentenced to community service and two years of probation.
But, it is safe to say that this is not the end of his story, and only time will tell what the future holds for him. Thank you for following along with us, and be sure to check back for more updates on this developing story. Until next time!