Jussie Smollett will be held in protective custody while behind bars.
According to TMZ, Judge James Linn specified that the former Empire star’s 150-day jail sentence be under protective custody after Smollett’s legal team submitted the request.
As noted by the outlet, the purpose of protective custody is to “protect an inmate from any form of harm while they serve their time.”
News of Smollett’s protective custody order came less than 24 hours after he was taken into police custody to begin his 150-day sentence in Cook County Jail. Smollett was reportedly given medical, mental health, and security assessments after being sentenced.
On Thursday (March 10), Judge Linn sentenced Smollett to 30 months felony probation –– the first 150 days of which to be spent in jail — and fined the actor over $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago for the hours detectives put in to investigate his alleged attack. After being sentenced, Smollett erupted in the courtroom, shouting that he isn’t suicidal and if something happened to him while in police custody he didn’t do it to himself.
In December, a jury found Smollett guilty of disorderly conduct for giving false information to the police about a racial and homophobic attack in January 2019.
Smollett claimed he was assaulted by two men wearing ski masks shortly after he’d arrived in Chicago from New York and made a late-night run to a Subway. While on his way to the restaurant, he said he heard someone yell, “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n***a?” He told authorities, two men, later identified as brothers Bola and Ola Osundairo, proceeded to jump him, put a rope around his neck and pour bleach on him. Jussie additionally claimed his attackers shouted, “this is MAGA country!”
However, after police tracked down and interviewed the Osundairo brothers, authorities accused Smollett of paying the two $3,500 to stage the hate crime against himself for attention and monetary gain. Smollett was later charged with 6 felony counts of disorderly conduct for the alleged lie, however, the actor was cleared of all charges in connection to the case in March 2019.
Months later, a judge appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether Smollett received preferential treatment from Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx‘s office. Then in February 2020, a grand jury indicted Smollett on new charges.
Smollett faced six counts of disorderly conduct — a charge that is punishable by up to three years in prison — for allegedly giving false information to the Chicago police about the attack. He pleaded not guilty to six counts.