Jury begins deliberating in Jussie Smollett case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— A jury in Chicago began deliberating the case of an actor charged with making a false report of being attacked by two masked men who beat and poured bleach on him in January.

Jury deliberations began Wednesday afternoon in the case of 35-year-old Jussie Smollett.

Smollett was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to three years in prison.

Smollett, who is black and gay, plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the Fox television show “Empire.” The series is set in the music industry and follows the rise and fall of a young musician.

Prosecutors say Smollett hired two brothers to help him stage the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. They said Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to take part in the hoax.

Smollett has denied orchestrating the attack.

Much of the more than two-week trial was told in testimony from dozens of witnesses, including police officers who investigated the attack and doctors who treated Smollett at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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