Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in Cook County Jail for staging a fake hate crime in January 2019. The sentencing hearing took place on Thursday (March 10) and clearly did have the outcome Smollett was expecting. As he was being hauled off to jail, he proclaimed his innocence, repeatedly shouted he was “not suicidal” and kept his fist raised in the air.
Despite Smollett’s defiance, he was treated like the rest of the Cook County Jail inmates and taken in for booking. But according to his brother brother Jocqui, the 39-year-old has been placed in the jail’s psychiatric ward because his official paperwork claims he’s a risk for “self-harm.”
In a clip posted to Smollett’s Instagram account on Saturday (March 12), Jocqui insisted his brother wasn’t suicidal, saying, “So Jussie is currently in a psych ward at the Cook County Jail. What’s very concerning is that there was a note attached to his paperwork today saying that he’s at risk of self-harm.
“I want to make it clear that he is in no way, shape, or form at risk of self-harm. He wants to let folks know that he is very stable, he is very strong, he is very healthy and ready to take on the challenge that… has been put up against him.”
Smollett was clearly concerned for his safety as he was being led out of the courtroom. He plainly stated if anything happened to him in jail, he didn’t do it. According to TMZ, law enforcement explained he’s in the psychiatric ward because it’s the same area they house high-profile inmates. But it seems Jocqui sees it differently.
“This is not right,” Jocqui added. “This is complete lack of justice. So please, make sure you all spreading facts. We really need our people to support us.”
The openly gay actor maintained his innocence up until the very end of the trial and wanted to reiterate he wasn’t suicidal.
“I did not do this,” Smollett said. “I am innocent. If I did this then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.”
Shortly after Smollett’s sentence was handed down, his family shared an Instagram post that read, “I AM INNOCENT AND I AM NOT SUICIDAL. – JUSSIE SMOLLETT.” They added in the caption, “OUR BROTHER IS INNOCENT AND WE WILL KEEP FIGHTING. #FreeJussie.”