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Jussie Smollett Allegedly On Psychiatric Hold, But Brother Says He’s Not At Risk
Just days after former "Empire" star Jussie Smollett was sentenced for orchestrating a fake hate crime, his brother Jocqui took to social media to say his sibling was being unfairly labeled at-risk.
Just days after actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced for staging a hate crime attack against him in 2019, his brother says the former "Empire" star is now in a psychiatric ward.
Smollett was sentenced Thursday to 150 days in the county jail and 30 months probation for orchestrating the attack he claimed was racist and homophobic in nature. On Sunday, the defendant's brother, Jocqui Smollett, took to Jussie’s Instagram page to announce Jussie was receiving psychiatric care.
“So, Jussie is currently in a psych ward at Cook County Jail,” said Jocqui. “What’s very concerning is there was a note attached to his paperwork today and put on the front of his jail cell saying that he’s at risk of self-harm.”
Jocqui, however, was quick to note that he didn’t believe his brother was at-risk.
“I just want to make it clear to folks that he is in no way, shape, or form, at risk of self-harm,” said Jocqui. “And he wants to let folks know that, that he [is] very stable, very strong, he is very healthy and ready to take on the challenge that ultimately has been put up against him.”
Jussie Smollett, 39, was found guilty in December on five counts of disorderly conduct for falsely reporting a physical attack on him near his Chicago home in January 2019. Smollett was accused of enlisting two brothers to put a noose around his neck in view of surveillance cameras while the phony attackers shouted homophobic and racist slurs. Smollett, who is Black and openly gay, has denied staging the attack.
“I am innocent,” Smollett loudly called out at Thursday's sentencing. “I could have said I am guilty a long time ago.”
It was not clear what actions precipitated Smollett’s alleged placement into psychiatric care since Thursday’s hearing, but Jocqui Smollett is calling foul.
“This is not right,” said Jocqui. “This is completely lack of justice. It’s angering. It’s an outrage.”
Jocqui also said Jussie’s being at-risk for self-harm was “absolutely not true.” Jocqui warned against false media reporting about Jussie’s placement and asked people to share the video while pushing the #FreeJussie movement and tagging Cook County Jail.
“We’re really just trying to make sure we can get as much engagement and attention on this injustice as possible,” said Jocqui. “We are talking about a very serious situation. We need folks’ support with getting our brother out of jail. He never should have been in jail. He was attacked. He is innocent.”
“Even if you don’t believe in his innocence, you should believe that he should be free,” Jocqui continued. “He should not be in jail under any circumstances.”
Costars from the Fox series “Empire” came to Jussie’s defense following his sentencing, even after he was written off the series following the alleged attack.
“I am not here to debate you on his innocence, but we can agree that the punishment does not fit the crime,” costar Taraji P. Henson wrote on her Instagram, explaining the actions already cost Jussie “everything” as a working artist and actor in Hollywood.
On top of his 150-day sentence and probation, Jussie was sentenced to pay $120,106 to the city of Chicago, as previously reported.