New York Daily News
Jail officials moved former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett to a psychiatric ward after deeming him a risk of self-harm, according to a brother of the actor.
Two days after Smollett was sentenced to five months at Cook County Jail in Chicago for lying to police about a made-up homophobic and racist attack, the actor’s sibling Jocqui Smollett slammed his placement in a psych ward as “a complete lack of justice.”
“What’s very concerning is that there was a note attached to his paperwork today and clipped on the front of his jail cell saying that he’s at risk of self-harm,” Jocqui Smollett said Saturday in an Instagram video.
“I want to just make it clear to folks that he is in no way, shape or form at risk of self-harm,” he continued. “He wants to let folks know … 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.”
Smollett’s sentencing took place Thursday, more than three years after the actor told police he was attacked by two men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, put a rope around his neck and poured a chemical on him in January 2019.
An investigation led to Smollett being accused of staging the incident by paying two brothers to attack him. In December, Smollett was found guilty on five counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police.
Smollett, 39, has maintained his innocence. After receiving his sentence last Thursday, the actor declared he “is not suicidal.”
“If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself,” he said at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
In the Instagram video, Jocqui Smollett also stressed his brother’s innocence and condemned him being moved to the psych ward.
“This is not right,” he said. “This is completely lack of justice. It’s angering. It’s an outrage.”
Officials with the Cook County Jail have not publicly commented on Joqui’s claim.