Jussie Smollett Sentenced to 150 Days in Cook County Jail and 30 Months Probation

The actor was found guilty of disorderly conduct in December.

Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to 150 days in Cook County Jail and immediately remanded into custody. On Thursday, Judge James B. Linn also sentenced the 39-year-old actor to 30 months of felony probation, three months after he was found guilty on five of the six counts of disorderly conduct for which he was charged. 

The Empire star was also ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution to the City of Chicago and fined $25,000. Smollett was asked if he wanted to say something following the sentence, prompting him to pull his face mask down and say, "No, I would just like to say to your honor that I am not suicidal. That's what I would like to say."

He later continued shouting, "I am not suicidal. I am innocent, and I am not suicidal. 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 LGBT community."

"Your honor, I respect you, and I respect the jury, but I did not do this," Smollett added. "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. I respect you, your honor, I respect your decision."

Prior to handing down the sentence, the judge admonished Smollett for the role he played in orchestrating the hate crime hoax, calling Smollett "arrogant," "selfish" and "narcissistic." The judge also said Smollett "committed hour upon hour upon hour of pure perjury" when he took the stand.

Following the sentencing, Smollett was booked at the Cook County Jail. The actor's mug shot was released Thursday evening. The county jail released a statement addressing Smollett's custody status, saying the actor's not being held in solitary confinement, which the Cook County Jail said it abolished in 2016.

"Any claims that he is being held in this manner is false," the statement read. "Mr. Smollett is being housed in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and by an officer wearing a body worn camera who is stationed at the entrance of the cell to ensure that Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times."

The statement added that as with all detained persons, Smollett "is entitled to have substantial time out of his cell in the common areas on the tier where he is housed, where he is able to use the telephone, watch television, and interact with staff. During such times out of cell, other detainees will not be present in the common areas. These protocols are routinely used for individuals ordered into protective custody who may potentially be at risk of harm due to the nature of their charges, their profession, or their noteworthy status."  

Cook County Sheriff's Office

The hearing, held at the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago, didn't begin without some suspense after Smollett and his entourage arrived late to court. He was flanked by his family, including his his 92-year-old grandmother. A frenzy unfolded as Smollett walked from his SUV and into the courthouse, as a throng of photographers mobbed Smollett. The frenzy led to at least one photographer claiming someone in Smollett's entourage pushed him to the ground.

Once inside the courtroom, one of Smollett's attorneys, Tina Glandian, spoke for about an hour laying out her argument -- including claims that the actor's rights were violated since the onset of the case -- as to why Smollett should be granted a new trial. Linn then heard from a member of the special prosecutor's team, Sean Wieber, who argued against a new trial citing that the evidence "overwhelmingly established [Smollett's] guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

Former 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building for his sentencing hearing on March 10, 2021 in Chicago. - Getty

Linn ultimately denied Smollett's request for a new trial. The actor's expected to file an appeal. Following judge's decision, the defense presented a slew of Smollett's friends and relatives -- along with letters from prominent figures that included Samuel L. Jackson -- to testify on behalf of Smollett. Among those brought forward was Smollett's grandmother, Molly, who chastised the media for its coverage of her grandson.

"The Jussie I know and love does not match up with the media's portrayal of him," she said. "Jussie himself, as you have heard from the testimonials, is a very gentle, kind and generous young man, and his empathy is infinite."

She added, "Jussie is loved and respected by all who know him. I ask you not to send him to prison, and if you do, send me along with him."

Smollett was charged with six counts of disorderly conduct in February 2020, when prosecutors alleged that the former Empire star, who is Black and gay, paid two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, $3,500 to help stage a homophobic and racist attack against him in January 2019. 

Jussie Smollett in court flanked by his attorneys. - Getty

Smollett, who pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified in his own defense during the 2021 trial, faced up to three years in prison for each of the five counts that he was convicted for giving a false report to police on the day of the incident. He was acquitted on the sixth count of giving a false report to police at a later date.

The actor claimed that two men beat him up, yelled "racist and homophobic slurs," dumped an "unknown chemical substance" on him and put a noose around his neck.  

The Osundairo brothers, however, both alleged that Smollett asked and paid them to stage a racist and homophobic attack against him, and alleged that they had previously scoped out the site of the attack with Smollett, which the actor denied. 



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