After just a week: Jussie Smollett gets out of prison

After just a week
Jussie Smollett is out of jail

The case made headlines: actor Jussie Smollett claims to have been the victim of a robbery. Everything is just made up, but a court decides against it and imposes a prison sentence on him. But now Smollett is already free again.

US actor Jussie Smollett, who was sentenced to five months in prison for a fake racist and homophobic attack, has been released after a week. According to media reports, an appeals court in Chicago granted a motion by the defense attorneys to release the former star of the US series “Empire” pending a decision on the appeal against the conviction. Photos show the 39-year-old leaving Cook County Jail on Wednesday evening (local time).

Smollett did not commit a violent crime, the judges reportedly argued. By the time his appeal was decided, he would have served his 150-day prison sentence long ago. He had to sign a guarantee of $150,000 (almost 136,000 euros), but did not deposit the money with the court.

“It’s a shame”

The headline-grabbing case began in January 2019 when Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men near his home at night. He was later arrested for alleged false statements. According to the investigators, he is said to have paid the men – two brothers – to fake the attack against him. The gay actor wanted to advance his career, it said. Smollett denies that.

In December 2021, a court found Smollett guilty on most counts. Last week, a judge finally sentenced him to 150 days in prison, a 30-month suspended sentence and to pay around $120,000 in compensation for the police investigation.

His lawyer, Nenye Uche, said the US justice system discriminates against African Americans. Smollett should not have been sent to prison for the offense for which he was convicted. “Anyone who sees it differently should be ashamed. It’s a shame,” he was quoted as saying.