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Jussie Smollett Released From Jail Pending Appeal

Jussie Smollett Released From Jail Pending Appeal

Smollett had to sign a $150,000 (£114,000) recognisance bond before being released from Cook County jail in Chicago

Jussie Smollett has been released from jail pending an appeal against his conviction, with his lawyer saying that while they may have 'won' the round this time, there is still 'a long battle ahead'. 

Smollett, 39, was sentenced earlier this month after being convicted last year for falsely claiming to police that he had been the victim of a hate crime.

In 2019, the former Empire star told police that two unknown men had attacked him, targeted him with racist and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Officers investigated the incident, but later determined the actor had orchestrated the stunt for publicity by paying two brothers he knew.

After being sentenced to 150 days in prison, his legal team launched an appeal, arguing that his imprisonment for a low-level, non-violent crime was excessive – also questioning why Smollett had been imprisoned after a previous prosecutor dropped the charges in 2019. The prosecuting office dismissed claims that his health and safety were in danger while he remained in prison, saying he had been in protective custody. 

At his sentencing, Smollett made a passionate speech about the case and about his state of mind at the time.

Smollett could only have served 75 days with good behvaiour, his lawyers suggested, while also saying they were worried for his mental health if he was kept in custody and voiced concerns he could be harmed by other inmates, The Independent reports.

The verdict to release Smollett on bond came after he was moved from the psychiatric unit to the general population of the prison.

Smollett had to sign a $150,000 (£114,000) recognisance bond before being released from Cook County jail in Chicago, making no statement as he left. 

His attorney Nenye Uche posted a video on the actor’s Instagram page, where a caption said: ‘The state appellate court made an order for Jussie to be released from jail TODAY. A huge win in what will be a longer road ahead. Thank you so much to everyone who’s shared and posted.’ 


In the clip, Uche said to the camera: ‘The First District Appellate Court in Illinois in Chicago just released an order ordering that Jussie Smollett should be released from jail immediately. Now, this appeal that we filed, the basis of the appeal was very simple. We told the Appellate Court that, pending the appeal, Jussie ought to be released, because quite frankly – I’m going to put it in layman’s terms and not legal talk – the case sucks, the case is bogus against him. And they released him, and that says a lot about what the Appellate Court thinks of this case. 

‘Now, we still have a long battle ahead of us – everyone should please, please, please pray. We need the fight, we need the support, we got everyone helping us fight. All the calls of support, the videos, the sharing on social media, everyone contributed to this big win today. So right now, we won round two. We want to win the remaining rounds, and we need your help and support.’ 

Thanking everyone for their help, Uche added: 'Thank God Jussie is coming home tonight.'

Smollett has maintained his innocence through his trial and sentencing.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Celebrity, US News, Film and TV, Entertainment