Jussie Smollett’s Lawyers Demand Emergency Release After Family Reveals Threatening Call
Actor Jussie Smollett speaks to Judge James Linn after his sentence is read Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.
Brian Cassella / Pool / Chicago Tribune / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Convicted liar Jussie Smollett’s lawyers are demanding the actor be released from jail, claiming he is facing “vicious threats”—including a phone call that seems to allude to the case of a sodomized New York City man, according to a new report.

The former “Empire” actor’s legal team has filed a motion to win his release, Rolling Stone reported.

“One of Smollett’s siblings received the alarming call Friday morning on the number that was given as his emergency jail contact when he was taken into custody Thursday night following sentencing for his hate hoax conviction, a Smollett spokeswoman says,” the magazine said. “‘I hope what they do to that guy in jail — here’s what they’re going to do, right. They’re going to take a broom handle, and take that little [expletive], shove it in there, and he’s gonna’ go, [shrieking sound],’ a man’s voice says in video of the call shared by Smollett’s team on Monday.”

The threat was apparently a reference to the 1997 police assault on Abner Louima in Brooklyn, “in which Louima was sodomized with a broken broomstick in the bathroom of the 70th precinct by Justin Volpe, the disgraced NYPD Officer now serving 30 years for the attack,” the mag said.

The motion comes a day after Smollett’s brother said the actor, who was sentenced to 150 days after lying about a hate crime, was moved to the psychiatric ward at the Cook County jail.

“Jussie is currently in a psych ward at the Cook County Jail,” Jocqui Smollett said in a video posted to Jussie’s Instagram, according to Deadline. “What’s very concerning is that 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.”

After he was sentenced, Smollett yelled in the courtroom in an odd outburst. “I am innocent, and I am not suicidal” he repeatedly shouted as he was taken to jail on Thursday.

Famous inmates like Jeffrey Epstein and John McAfee both allegedly committed suicide while in jail, and Smollett appeared to be saying if something happened to him, he didn’t commit suicide.

Jocqui added about his brother: “I want to just make it clear to folks that he is in no way, shape, or form at risk of self-harm. And 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 ultimately has been put up against him.”

Smollett claimed in January 2019 that he was attacked in Chicago by two white men who yelled “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

The actor was indicted by a grand jury in Chicago on 16 felony counts after he allegedly lied to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime. The actor said two men attacked him at 2 a.m. when he was walking home from a sandwich shop, poured what he believed to be bleach on him, and placed a rope around his neck.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx later announced that her office was dropping the case. Smollett was allowed to walk free after forfeiting his $10,000 bail and performing 16 hours of community service, to which Foxx said, “I believe this is a just outcome based on the circumstances.”

But new information brought the charges back to life, and after being convicted on five of six charges. Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail, 30 months of probation, restitution of $120,106, and a fine of $25,000 on Thursday for his part in orchestrating a hate hoax.

“You’re just a charlatan, pretending to be a victim of a hate crime,” Judge James Linn said to Jussie Smollett during Thursday’s sentencing. He added that the actor’s name “has “has become an adverb for ‘lying,’” and that “there is nothing that I will do here today that can come close to the damage you’ve already done to your own life.”

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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