Jussie Smollett‘s only Black juror, Andre Hope, opened up about his reasoning behind finding the actor guilty of faking a hate crime.
Hope explained why he found Smollett’s stories didn’t add up, leading him to believe the star hired attackers to stage the assault.
According to Hope, the circumstances presented to the panel leading up to the attack raised some questions.
“Two o’clock in the morning,” he shared. “Cold outside. When you just use your common sense as what’s there, yeah, it just, it didn’t add up.”
He continued, “I still have not figured out a motive for why he did, why this had to even happen. He was a star.”
In his testimony, the former Empire actor told the jury that he was attacked by two masked men sporting MAGA hats who shouted homophobic and racist slurs at him near his home in Chicago.
Smollett also claimed they tied a noose around his neck and drowned him in bleach. After the alleged attack, he reportedly went home and put the rope back around his neck so the police who arrived at his apartment could witness it themselves.
The Black juror did not understand Smollett’s action concerning the noose, explaining he wouldn’t have taken similar steps if he was in his situation.
“As an African American person, I’m not putting that noose back on at all,” he said.
As Radar previously reported, another juror spoke out for the first time following Smollett’s guilty verdict, sharing the 12-person panel found his alleged attacker Abimbola Osundairo to be more credible.
“I listened to both sides. We wanted to make sure that those who had doubts didn’t feel pressured,” the unidentified woman stated.
She also shared the jury was doing the actor a favor by convicting him on only five of the six counts of felony disorderly conduct.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” the juror revealed. “You’ve got the mother sitting there. You feel bad. We didn’t know what the penalty would be. Are we sending this guy to jail?”
Smollett was hit with criminal charges for filing a false report in connection to the racist and homophobic attack in 2019.
He faces three years behind bars, but experts believe he will receive a light sentence due to his lack of criminal history.
Smollett’s attorney, Nenye Uche,said he “disrespectfully disagreed” with the jury’s verdict.
“He [Smollett] is 100% confident that this will be reversed on appeal,” Uche claimed. “At the end of the day, we will believe justice will prevail. We don’t believe it was done today, but we’re very confident that he will be cleared, and he will be found to be innocent.”