Jussie Smollett pictured in new jail mugshot after receiving 150-day sentence for hate crime hoax

Smollett’s supporters say they fear for his safety in jail, and will appeal his five-month jail sentence

Bevan Hurley
Friday 11 March 2022 17:16 GMT
‘I am not suicidal’: Jussie Smollett shouts in courtroom after being sentenced to jail

Jussie Smollett appeared sombre in a booking mugshot as he began a 150-day jail sentence after making an emotional outburst at the conclusion of a dramatic sentencing hearing on Thursday.

Smollett wore a white button-down shirt in the booking photo released by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Smollett, 39, repeatedly declared his innocence of staging a fake hate crime as he was ordered to be taken from the court to begin his jail term by Cook County Judge James Linn.

Smollett had stared directly at Judge Linn as was called a narcassistic charlatan who “shamefully” pretended to be the victim a racist, homophobic attack in Chicago in 2019.

The Empire actor rose to his feet as his five-month prison term was handed down, and repeatedly said: “I am not suicidal, I am not suicidal.”

Cook County Sheriff’s Office released a booking mugshot after Jussie Smollett’s sentencing on Thursday
Cook County Sheriff’s Office released a booking mugshot after Jussie Smollett’s sentencing on Thursday (Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

“Your honour, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this, and I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that,” Smollett said.

As deputies led him from the courtroom, Smollett raised his fist and yelled: “I am innocent. I could have said I am guilty a long time ago.”

He was given 30 months’ probation and ordered to pay $120,106 (£91,700) in restitution and $25,000 (£19,000) in fines.

Smollett raises his fist as he’s led out of court following his sentencing
Smollett raises his fist as he’s led out of court following his sentencing (via REUTERS)

Outside court, Smollett’s sister Jazz Smollett called the case a miscarriage of justice. His older brother, Jocqui Smollett, said he was “very disappointed” with the verdict.

Smollett’s attorney Nenye Uche told reporters he will ask the jail to keep Smollett in protective custody and plans to appeal both the verdict and the judge’s sentence.

Mr Uche said Smollett had been expecting to be sentenced to jail time.

“He said: ‘Because I’m a Black guy, no matter how successful I’ve gotten, I’m Black,’” Mr Uche said.

A spokesman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Smollett will have a comprehensive medical, mental health and security assessment, as part of the routine booking process.

Smollett will likely serve just half of his sentence.

On his Instagram account, the family posted a message from Smollett saying: “I am innocent and I am not suicidal.”

“We will keep fighting,” the post said.

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