Disgraced Hollywood star and convicted felon Jussie Smollett is demanding to be released from jail, with his lawyers arguing that a “custodial setting poses a safety and health danger” to his life.
Smollett’s legal team has filed an emergency motion to pause his sentence and release him on bond after only serving just a few days of his 5-month sentence.
The former “Empire” actor’s attorneys filed an emergency injunction Friday seeking Smollett’s release pending his appeal.
His lawyer argued that Smollett is in danger and is the target of online threats of physical harm.
As a reason to release him, the criminal celebrity’s attorneys claim Smollett’s family has been getting threatening phone calls ever since the number was listed at the jail as an emergency contact.
The defense is also arguing against Smollett being kept in segregated incarceration, which the jail would do for his safety, because that may potentially damage to his mental and physical health.
“Mr. Smollett has become the target of vicious threats in the social media forums which no doubt reflects the hatred and wish for physical harm towards Smollett which he may experience during incarceration,” Smollett’s filing reads.
“Mr. Smollett anticipates he will most likely be assigned to segregated incarceration or protective custody, both euphemisms for solitary confinement; a situation which could have extraordinary damage on his mental health,” the filing continues.
“As a result, any custodial setting poses a safety and health danger to the life of Mr. Smollett,” the filing says.
Jussie Smollett lawyers file emergency motion https://t.co/S9KIhhGCc7
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Jussie Smollett’s sister, Jurnee Smollett, said Cook County should release Jussie even if the court does not “believe in his innocence.”
Jurnee Smollett said:
“Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at nearly five times the rate of white Americans.
“Jussie is innocent,” she falsely alleged.
“And you don’t have to believe in his innocence to believe he should be free.”
Smollett’s brother also claimed Jussie has been transferred to a psychiatric ward after his suspicious claims about being “not suicidal.”
“So Jussie is currently in a psych ward at the Cook County Jail,” his brother Jocqui Smollett said.
“What’s very concerning is that there was a note attached to his paperwork today and put in front of his jail cell saying that he’s at risk of self-harm.
“I want to make it clear to folks 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.”
“This is not right. This is a complete lack of justice.
“It’s angering. It’s an outrage, but he ultimately knows what he needs to do.
“So please, make sure you all spreading facts. We really need our people to support us,” Jocqui Smollett said.
Judge Linn blasted Smollett during sentencing, saying:
“There’s a side of you that has this arrogance, and selfishness and narcissism that’s just disgraceful.
“You’re not a victim of a racial hate crime, you’re not a victim of a homophobic hate crime.
“You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime, and that’s shameful,” the judge said.
The Cook County Sheriff’s office said:
“The use of solitary confinement was abolished at the Cook County Jail in 2016, and any claims that he is being held in this manner is false.
“Mr. Smollett is being housed in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and by an officer wearing a body-worn camera who is stationed at the entrance of the cell to ensure that Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times.
“As with all detained persons, Mr. Smollett is entitled to have substantial time out of his cell in the common areas on the tier where he is housed, where he is able to use the telephone, watch television, and interact with staff.
“During such times out of cell, other detainees will not be present in the common areas.
“These protocols are routinely used for individuals ordered into protective custody who may potentially be at risk of harm due to the nature of their charges, their profession, or their noteworthy status.
“The safety and security of all detained individuals, including Mr. Smollett, is the Sheriff’s Office’s highest priority,” the office said.