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After Jussie Smollett’s Legal Team Filed An Appeal, The Former Empire Actor Walked Out Of Jail

Jussie Smollett in Empire
(Image credit: Fox )

 Jussie Smollett, who was found guilty in December on five of six counts of felony disorderly conduct for falsely reporting a hate crime, is now out of jail. The former Empire actor served less than a week of his 150-day sentence before a judge suspended the sentence pending appeal. Smollett reportedly walked out of Cook County Jail in Chicago at 8 p.m. CT on March 16, surrounded by family, members of his defense team, and other supporters.

The former child actor was reportedly silent as he walked away from the facility, Deadline reported. Defense attorney Nenye Uche said Jussie Smollett drank only water and did not eat anything during the six days he was incarcerated. Jussie’s brother Jocqui Smollett previously posted on Instagram that Jussie was being held in the psych ward and was reported to be at risk of self-harm, despite the actor’s insistence at his sentencing that “I am not suicidal!”

On March 10, Smollett was sentenced to 30 months of probation, including 150 days in jail, restitution of $120,106 to pay for Chicago police officers’ overtime incurred while investigating the fake crime, and a fine of $25,000. Smollett was reportedly denied an appeal at the time of his sentencing.

His lawyers, however, were granted a stay of the sentence while an appeal is pending, with the Appellate Court judge saying that Jussie Smollett’s sentence would likely have already been served in full before his appeal got very far. Smollett’s past was also taken into account, in that the actor had never been convicted of a violent crime. Before his release Smollett was required to put up a $150,000 personal recognizance bond.

In January 2019, Jussie Smollett claimed two men attacked him in Chicago and placed a noose around his neck while shouting racist and homophobic slurs at him. A police investigation later led to questions about the validity of the attack and suggested that Smollett hired and paid two men to conduct the attack on him. Smollett was charged for making false reports but maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

The brothers responsible for the attack, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, testified in court that Jussie Smollett paid them $100 for supplies and wrote an additional $3,500 check for the men to attack him while shouting the slurs. Smollett refuted those claims on the stand during the trial, alleging that the money was for a weight loss supplement that is illegal in the United States that Abimbola Osundairo could pick up on a trip to Nigeria. Smollett also alleged he met  Osundairo at a club in 2017 and that the two men had a sexual relationship for a time. 

Jussie Smollett has maintained his innocence throughout the trial and has a number of supporters, including Jurnee Smollett, who posted on Instagram for Cook County Jail to #FreeJussie following her brother's sentencing. Jussie's former TV mom, Empire actress Taraji P. Henson, also spoke out, saying the punishment handed down last week didn't fit the crime.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on Jussie Smollett's legal case.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.