Actor Jussie Smollett ‘loses it’ after being sentenced to 150 days
In a performance worthy of an Oscar, Jussie Smollett ‘showed out’ at the sentencing hearing after being convicted on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports about what he said was an anti-gay and anti-Black hate crime in December 2021. Smollett, 39, was sentenced to 30 months of felony probation, including 150 days in jail, and ordered to pay restitution of more than $120,000 and a $25,000 fine for making false reports to police.
The former “Empire” actor, who is Black and gay, told Chicago police that on a frigid night in January 2019 two unknown men attacked him, yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him, and wrapped a noose around his neck.
Cook County Judge James Linn spoke for more than 30 minutes before announcing Smollett’s sentence, telling the actor that he wrote the script and picked the actors for the hoax, and that his premeditation for the act was an “aggravating factor” in the case.
“There’s a side of you that has this arrogance, and selfishness and narcissism that’s just disgraceful,” the judge said. “You’re not a victim of a racial hate crime, you’re not a victim of a homophobic hate crime. You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime, and that’s shameful.”
Before handing down his sentence, Linn asked Smollett if he’d like to say anything but he declined, with Uche explaining he advised against it because of their plans to appeal the conviction. But when Smollett learned he was immediately being remanded into custody and he’d be spending five months at the Cook County jail, he took off his mask and began yelling, appearing to imply there was some kind of conspiracy against him.
Smollett began shouting to the court that he was “not suicidal,” repeating the remark over and over again.
“Your honor, I respect you and I respect your decision, but I did not do this and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.”
Holding up his fist, Smollett shouted in the court as he was led away by sheriff’s deputies, “I did not do this and I am not suicidal and if anything happens to me when I go there, I did not do it to myself and you must all know that.”
According to court documents, the judge ordered Smollett to be held in protective custody “by Mr. Smollett’s request and this court’s recommendation.”
Asked to explain the outburst of his client, Smollett’s attorney said the actor is concerned he’ll die behind bars and likened his situation to Jeffrey Epstein’s mysterious hanging death in federal custody. Smollett’s lead attorney Nenye Uche said they were made “for a specific reason.”
“I don’t want people to think, well, is he going crazy? Why is he yelling ‘I’m not suicidal’? He was doing it for a specific reason because, let’s be honest, we have the Epstein situation, where he was found dead in his jail even in protective custody,” Uche told reporters.
“What Mr. Smollett was concerned about was, what if he turns up dead in protective custody? He doesn’t want people to think he killed himself,” he continued.
“I am not suicidal. I am innocent and I’m not suicidal. If I did this, then it means that I shoved my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community,” Smollett shouted.
“I’m innocent! I could’ve said I was guilty a long time ago!”
Smollett’s attorneys formally started the process to appeal the “Empire” actor’s conviction Friday and took steps to secure his release from Cook County Jail while the appeal is pending.They filed an emergency injunction seeking Smollett’s release. An appellate court judge ruled prosecutors have five days to respond to the emergency motion.