Jussie Smollett, after flipping out in court last week, was thrown in the psych ward of a Chicago jail, according to his brother.
The 39-year-old “Empire” actor was sentenced to five months behind bars for staging a hate crime, and is serving out his sentence at the notorious Cook County Jail.
“So Jussie is in a psych ward at the county jail,” Jocqui Smollett said in a video posted on Instagram over the weekend. Mental health wards in prisons are for detainees who are too acutely mentally ill for the general population, and/or are on suicide watch.
The brother suggested that this must be some kind of mistake.
“What’s very concerning is that there was a note attached to the paperwork today, and it said on the front of his jail cell … that he is at risk of self-harm,” Smollett said on Instagram.
“I want to just make it clear to folks that he is in no way shape or form at risk to self-harm and he wants to let folks know that, 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,” he said. “This is not right,” Jocqui Smollett added. “This is complete lack of justice. It’s angering, it’s an outrage.”
According to the New York Post, officials said last week that Smollett would be held in protective custody.
“Mr. Smollett is not being held in solitary confinement,” the Cooks County Sheriff’s Office said in the statement. “The use of solitary confinement was abolished at the Cook County Jail in 2016, and any claim that he is being held in the manner is false.”
According to the sheriff, Smollett is given “substantial time” to leave his cell, use the telephone, watch television “and interact with staff.”
“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 statement said.
“We still haven’t been given clear answers on why he’s in a psych ward,” Jocqui Smollett said in his Instagram video.
Jussie Smollett was found guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct after an eight-day trial stemming from the staged 2019 assault.
The actor claimed he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in downtown Chicago in 2019 — with investigators later determining that he conspired with two brothers to stage the attack because he was unhappy with his “Empire” pay.
In a bizarre outburst moments after his sentence was announced at the end of the hearing Thursday, Smollett repeatedly wailed that he was “not suicidal.”
“I am innocent, and I’m not suicidal!” he exclaimed. Rising from his seat, he added, “If I did do this it means I stuck my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years, and the fears of the LGBT community!”
Turning to the judge he said, “I respect you and I respect the jury but I did not do this, and I’m not suicidal.”
“And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that!” Smollett hollered.
“I am not suicidal!” he bellowed with his fist in the air, as he was led out of the courtroom. “I am NOT suicidal and I am innocent!”