Jussie Smollett Says ‘I Am Not Suicidal’ at Least 8 Times After Jail Sentence

Actor Jussie Smollett is led out of the courtroom after being sentenced at the Leighton Cr
Brian Cassella-Pool/Getty Images

Jussie Smollett repeatedly insisted he was innocent and “not suicidal” after he was sentenced Thursday to 150 days in jail for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack that the former Empire actor orchestrated himself.

“I am not suicidal,” Smollett told Cook County Judge James Linn when asked if he had any questions about the 30 months of felony probation, including 150 days in the county jail, that were pronounced as his penalty for the hate crime hoax.

The actor, who wore a plain black mask throughout the nearly 5-hour-long hearing, removed it for his response and turned his head toward the court audience as he repeated himself and raised his voice: “I am not suicidal. I am NOT suicidal. I am innocent, and I am not suicidal.”

Smollett continued:

If I did this, then it means I stuck my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community. Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this, and I am 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. I respect you, your honor. I respect your decision. Jail time [pause]. I am not suicidal.

Linn denied a request to suspend Smollett’s sentence and ordered he be placed in custody immediately.

Smollett was also ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution. He again shouted “I am not suicidal!” with a raised fist as Sheriff’s deputies led him out of the courtroom.

“I am not suicidal!” he repeated. “I am NOT suicidal, and I’m innocent. I could have said I was guilty a long time ago.”

Judge Linn described Smollett as a habitual liar as he recounted the facts of the case before announcing his sentencing. “Your performance on the witness stand can only be described as pure perjury,” he said. “You’ve been lying and lying and lying about this case, and that’s why you’re here today.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.