Prior to his sentencing hearing on Thursday, Jussie Smollett told his legal team he would probably be jailed because he’s Black.
Smollett, who is biracial, was a once popular actor starring in the FOX TV series “Empire” when he claimed he was ambushed on a Chicago street in January 2019 by two men wearing MAGA caps. He claimed the men tied a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him before fleeing into the night.
In December, Smollett was convicted of committing a class 4 felony for lying to Chicago police. On Thursday he was sentenced to 150 days in the Cook County Jail and ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution and a $25,000 fine.
After the sentencing hearing, Smollett’s legal team said he told them he shouted “I’m not suicidal” in the courtroom because he feared he would be found dead in his jail cell, like the late financier Jeffrey Epstein who was found hanging in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10, 2019.
In a statement to the New York Post, the Cooks County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Friday that Smollett, 39, is housed in his own cell in “protective custody” where he is under video monitoring 24/7, per his request.
Additionally, a guard wearing a body cam is stationed at the entrance to his cell to observe the paranoid actor at all times, the New York Post reported.
Smollett is allowed out of his cell during the day to watch TV, eat, and read in a common area near the medical wing. No other inmates are allowed in the common area while he is out of his cell.
The Cook County Jail houses more than 6,000 inmates and is considered the most dangerous jail complex in the country.
Smollett’s family posted his quote on his Instagram page, along with the comment: “OUR BROTHER IS INNOCENT AND WE WILL KEEP FIGHTING. #FreeJussie.”