Court orders Jussie Smollett release from jail during appeal

Jussie Smollett
Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 16, 2022

CHICAGO (AP) — An appeals court has ordered that Jussie Smollett be released from jail during the appeal of his conviction on charges that he lied to police about a racist and homophobic attack.

The ruling Wednesday comes after a Cook County judge sentenced Smollett last week to immediately begin serving 150 days in jail for his conviction on five felony counts of disorderly conduct.

After being sentenced, Smollett yelled, with his clenched fist in the air as he exited the chamber, "I am not suicidal!, I am not suicidal! And, I am innocent, I could have said that I was guilty a long time ago!"

The sentence stems from a 2019 incident in which the Black and gay actor reported to Chicago police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.

An investigation revealed Smollett paid two men he knew from work on the TV show "Empire" to stage the attack.

During the trial, Abimbola Osundairo testified that Smollett helped him and his brother Olabinjo Osundairo plan the hoax.

Abimbola said that Smollett asked him and his brother “to fake beat him up” and instructed them on how to carry out the fake attack.

The special prosecutor's office had opposed the motion, calling it illogical.