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HomeEntertainmentJussie Smollett guilty verdict latest in polarizing case

Jussie Smollett guilty verdict latest in polarizing case


CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett’s conviction for lying to police about a racist, homophobic attack came nearly three years after his report of a horrifying hate crime quickly became part of a polarized political landscape, with people — including the president of the United States — weighing in from all over.

A prosecutor said Thursday’s verdict was “a resounding message by the jury that Mr. Smollett did exactly what we said he did” — recruit two brothers to fake an attack so it could be recorded by a surveillance camera and posted on social media for publicity.

The brothers testified that the former “Empire” actor paid them $3,500 for the hoax and gave them lines to yell, including about “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to then-President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

The report made headlines around the world and prompted a massive manhunt in Chicago, with roughly two dozen police joining the investigation. It also drew criticism from Trump, who called the police department’s handling of the case “an absolute embarrassment to our country.”

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