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Jussie Smollett pictured in new mug shot as 150-day jail sentence begins

Jussie Smollett pictured in new mug shot as 150-day jail sentence begins

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Jussie Smollett has spent his first night in Cook County Jail.

After being sentenced Thursday to 150 days in jail for staging a hate crime against himself, the former Empire actor, 39, was taken into custody immediately, screaming as he left the Chicago courtroom.

“I’m not suicidal, and I am innocent,” he yelled before disappearing through the door. With a fist in the air, he added, “I could have said I was guilty a long time ago.”

 

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Jussie was then processed as an inmate, being assigned the booking number 20220310140. While still wearing the white dress shirt he had on in court, but sans tie and suit jacket, he took a new mug shot. In it, he was expressionless, but his head was held high.

It’s unclear who exactly is controlling the actor and singer’s social media while he’s incarcerated, but the quote he gave while being taken off to jail has since been posted to his Instagram page.

“I am innocent and I am not suicidal,” it read. The caption said, “OUR BROTHER IS INNOCENT AND WE WILL KEEP FIGHTING. #FreeJussie.”

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Jussie was accompanied to court by several family members, including his 92-year-old grandma, who spoke on his behalf to the judge, slamming the media and asking to be sent to jail too if her grandson had to go.

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Outside court, after Jussie was taken away, the Smollett siblings continued to support him in a series of impassioned comments.

His brother Jocqui Smollett said his brother is a “complete victim” in this. “He was attacked and he is now going to jail for being attacked.”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 10: Jocqui Smollett, the brother of former
Jocqui Smollett, the brother of former Empire actor Jussie Smollett, speaks to the press at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building after his brother was sentenced to jail on March 10, 2022. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

He went on to say, “He’s a survivor and he’s been completely mistreated and this has to stop.”

Jussie’s sister Jazz Smollett said she believes her brother is innocent — and said that “should not be a controversial statement because it is the absolute truth. What should be controversial is the entire miscarriage of justice his whole ordeal has been.”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 10: Surrounded by other family members, Jazz Smollett, the sister of former
Jazz Smollett, the sister of former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, speaks to the press at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building after her brother was sentenced to jail on March 10, 2022. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Jojo Smollett took issue with Judge James B. Linn’s comments about Jussie — whom he called “profoundly arrogant,” “selfish” and a “narcissistic” — before sentencing him to 150 days in jail, 30 months of felony probation and ordering him to pay $120,106 of restitution to the city of Chicago and a $25,000 fine.

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“[The judge] shamed my brother, he spoke about his arrogance,” JoJo said. “He doesn’t know the struggles my brother is encountering. He doesn’t know anything that he’s dealing with…. In 2022, we don’t shame people like this. Alright? He basically called him a mental case.”

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Actor Jussie Smollett is led out of the courtroom after being sentenced to jail time at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 10, 2022. Brian Cassella/Pool via REUTERS
Jussie Smollett is led out of the courtroom after being sentenced to jail time at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on March 10, 2022. (Photo: Brian Cassella/Pool via REUTERS)

Jussie is being housed in Division 8 of Cook County Jail. He can have visitors five days a week, there is a health services facility, two education departments, a commissary and a day room on each unit for eating and watching TV.

Thursday’s sentencing took nearly six hours as the defense made a last-minute attempt to get a new trial. Jussie declined to speak out formally on his own behalf but then started yelling once the sentence was handed down.

Jussie was found guilty in December on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for making false reports stemming from staging a hate crime against himself in January 2019. The actor, who is Black and gay, claimed two men wearing ski masks poured bleach on him, put a noose around his neck and yelled racist and homophobic slurs on a freezing Chicago night when he was walking home at 2 a.m. The police investigation led to two brothers, Abimbola (“Bola”) and Olabinjo (“Ola”) Osundairo, acquaintances of the actor, who said Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack.

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Smollett was initially indicted in March 2019 on 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct. However, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office dropped all charges weeks later, keeping his $10,000 bond and saying the community service he had completed was enough. However, a special prosecutor was appointed to look into the case in August 2019, leading to new charges against Jussie and, ultimately, his conviction on five of the six charges.

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