Things in this legal matter just took an unexpected turn…
According to TMZ, Jussie Smollett will be released from jail amid his attempts to appeal his sentencing for five counts of felony disorderly conduct after, the court found, lying to the police about being the victim of a hate crime. After spending only six days behind bars, the appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the 39-year-old actor would have to post a $150,000 bond to be let out of the Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois. His exact release date is not yet clear at this time. Wow…
While we bet that Jussie is overjoyed with this news, the state is apparently very unhappy with the court’s latest decision. Per TMZ, they said in a statement:
“Rather than attempt to meet his burden of showing good cause for his immediate release, Mr. Smollett makes only cursory, woefully undeveloped arguments. Each fails to demonstrate good cause to stay his jail sentence.”
Related: Jussie Smollett’s Empire Co-Star Taraji P. Henson Compares Him To Emmett Till
The shocking ruling came after Judge James Linn sentenced the Empire alum last week to immediately start serving 150 days in jail and be forced to pay the city of Chicago $120,106 in restitution, plus pay a $25,000 fine. He also faces 30 months of felony probation. The judge slammed Smollett for his role in orchestrating the hoax hate crime while announcing his sentencing on March 10, saying:
“You’re not the victim of a racist hate crime, you’re not the victim of a homophobic hate crime, you’re just a charlatan pretending to be the victim of a hate crime and that’s shameful especially. You have another side of you that is profoundly arrogant and selfish and narcissistic and that bad side of you came out during the course of this. Your performance on the witness stand, this can only be described as pure perjury. You got on the witness stand… you committed hour upon hour upon hour of pure perjury.”
The singer also spoke out in the courtroom at the time, maintaining his innocence and also issuing a disturbing warning:
“I did not do this. And I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that. I respect you, your honor. I respect your decision.”
His defense team continued to push for his release, even claiming at one point that Smollett could be in danger of physical harm if he remained locked up. According to TMZ, the attorneys said he allegedly received a ton of racist and homophobic messages and phone calls since he was brought to jail. They also noted that since Smollett is immunocompromised, he is at a higher risk of catching COVID-19 while in jail, and thus should be released. Additionally, the Associated Press reported that his lawyers argued that the star would have already completed the sentence by the time that he would have been able to appeal the conviction.
Ultimately, it looks like their arguments worked. Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).
[Image via ABC News/YouTube]