Jussie Smollett - Empire Star Locked In Jail Psych Ward! Fears For His Life Now?
You might have recently heard more about the former Empire star, Jussie Smollett. That was because he was charged and convicted of lying to the police. The actor claimed he was a victim of a hate crime during which he was physically attacked but as it later turned out he was the person who had paid people to attack him. Despite intially being cleared of all charges he was After his sentencing, his team had wasted no time in filing an appeal and demanding that Smollett be released from jail. But as news came out that the actor is in the hospital’s psych ward, could his life really be in danger now? What exactly happened in Jussie’s case? And what has his team had to say about it all? Read on to find out.
How Did The Case Happen?
The entire case started back in January 2019. Chicago police had revealed that they were investigating a suspected racist and homophobic attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett by two masked men. In the early reports, it was revealed that the actor was allegedly punched in the face, had an “unknown chemical substance” poured on him, and a rope was wrapped around his neck. The actor told the police that the two attackers had made references to MAGA. At the time his condition was described as good but soon things would start to get out of control.
The Next Few Days After
Not long after, messages of support from celebrities such as Viola Davis and Janelle Monae. His Empire co-stars including Grace Byers and Naomi Campbell had also voiced their support after the alleged attack. But soon enough people were raising their eyebrows when it was revealed that the actor refused to hand his phone over to the authorities as part of the investigation. The reason that they wanted it was because they wanted to confirm details of what happened as Jussie had said that during the attack, he was on the phone to his manager. Though the police had clarified that, at the time, he was a victim and not treated as a criminal. Several days after the attack he did Smollett provided police with a PDF file of his phone records though they have been redacted and some bits were covered up. But once again, the police at that time had said that they did not suspect any wrongdoing.
Things Change & Jussie Is Charged
It was February 14th, 2019, when the police had revealed that two people of interest were arrested and interviewed by the police, but not charged and not treated as suspects. They were Obabinjo (Ola) and Abimbola (Abel) Osundairo, two brothers originally from Nigeria. As their lawyer revealed, they had worked as Empire extras, sometimes going to the gym with the actor. At the same time Jussie did an interview in which he said: “If I had said [the attackers] was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot much more." A few days after that, things took a turn as Chicago police had released the brother without a charge, and added they planned to speak with Smollett as there was some development in the investigation. Then on February 20th that year, Chicago police said the actor is charged with "disorderly conduct/filing a false police report".
Smollett Arrested & Kicked of Empire
The day after being charged by police Jussie was arrested with the police statement in a press conference that the actor “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career". Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had also added that the actor did it because he was "dissatisfied with his salary". At the time, investigators also claimed that he also had sent a racist letter to himself at a Fox studio and paid the Osundairo brothers a cheque for $3,500 to stage the attack. While at this time the new season of Empire had come out, and one that did feature Smollett but the producers revealed that in the future he would not be returning to the show. Of course, this had all angered many people, and even former president Donald Trump had come forward to say that what the actor was doing was dangerous and that the entire case was “an embarrassment to the nation”.
Cleared Of All Charges
Towards the end of March 2019, after an emergency court appearance, all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped. At the time his lawyers had said that “He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator.” They also added that after Jussie forfeited a $10,000 bond payment and carried out community service to them the case was closed. But this wouldn’t be the end. A few days after, Chicago police ordered Jussie to pay $130,000 to cover the cost of police officers, including overtime worked on the case. The following month, after Jussie Smollett refused to pay the amount demanded by the Chicago police, he was been sued for "three times" that amount by the city of Chicago. And on top of that, it was revealed that actors' legal team is being sued for defamation by the Osundairo brothers - who said they continued to be accused of carrying out a racist and homophobic attack against the actor.
New Charges And Trial
Fast forward to February 2020 and it was revealed that special prosecutor Dan Webb, was assigned to investigate how the case was handled and that he was going to further prosecute Smollett. As a result, the actor was charged with six counts of lying to the police. According to media reports, during the trial that started on November 29th, 2021, Webb had argued the actor had "developed a secret plan that would make it appear there was actually a hate crime that actually occurred against him by supporters of Donald Trump". When the cheque he gave the brothers was brought up, Smollett said it was for a meal and workout plan from Abel, who he says he was involved in a sexual relationship before the alleged attack. Also, he repeatedly denied that he had been involved in a hoax and said that he did not call the police because "as a black man in America, I don't trust the police, I'm sorry"
Smollett Found Guilty
The trial ended on December 9th, when a jury of six men and six women had reached its decision one day after deliberations began. They found Jussie guilty of five of six counts of disorderly conduct. The sentencing took place on March 11th, 2022, three years after the hoax attack and the first police report. During it Smollett was sentenced to 150 days jail time and ordered to pay a fine of $145,000. The sentence also includes 30 months of probation. Throughout the entire trial the actor had claimed he was innocent and a victim.
Smollett In Danger?
His lawyers did not waste time demanding his release from jail at least for the duration of his appeal playing out. According to media reports, their reason for that is them claiming he risks being harmed every second he is behind bars. They also added that his family is being barraged with harassing messages and phone calls aimed at Jussie, which they say is proof of the harm that might actually come to him if he remains locked up. The team also showed a video taken by the Smollett family which they say shows a stranger calling them with disgusting sentiments about what should happen to their brother as he serves his 5-month sentence.
Smollett In Psych Ward?
According to Jussie Smollett’s brother the actor has been placed in the psych ward at the Cook County Jail, and he claims says it's because the official paperwork says Jussie is at risk of self-harm. Though his sibling Jocqui was quick to call it B.S. In a video posted to Jussie’s Instagram, he said: “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.” Law enforcement sources spoke with reporters and said the reason for that is because it's also the area where they house high-profile inmates.
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