Jussie Smollett, the failed actor who attempted a hate crime hoax to bolster his career and attempt to defame Trump supporters, has just been sentenced to five months of jail.
Did he get off way too easy? Definitely. Was the leniency a product of his celebrity status? It’s likely. Yet, it’s great to know that we live in a world where backbiters have a chance of tasting a portion of what they deserve.
Apparently, the system was pissed at something different from what the rest of us were. While we were upset at a deliberate attempt to paint a huge portion of the electorate in a defamatory light, all while attempting to benefit from the attention, what got the system riled up was the resources spent in pursuit of a frivolous and false accusation. He was ordered to pay over $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago, and a $25,000 fine.
It seems the moral of the story is, if you want the legal system to give a care about defamation, you have to demonstrate that it matters to their bottom line. Sure, it’s a shitty moral, but at least a lying piece of work is getting locked up.
I suspect that he’s not going to the real thing, but to celebrity jail, where he gets to while away his time in relative comfort, with substantial amenities, and near-limitless entertainment, all while his basic needs are met. So, perhaps his real punishment in the long-term would be the hit to his own reputation.
That aside, most people are not celebrities. So, this story is still a valid warning to false accusers everywhere. Some famous guy didn’t get away with it, so they might not get away with it, either.