On Thursday, a judge sentenced Jussie Smollett to 150 days in jail in connection with a staged hate crime.
The “Empire” actor was ordered to pay more than $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago and was fined $25,000. He was also sentenced to 30 months of felony probation.
Smollett, who was found guilty last December of lying to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago in January 2019, proclaimed his innocence during Thursday’s sentencing hearing and announced that he had no intention of harming himself in jail.
“I am not suicidal,” he told the judge. “I am not suicidal! I am innocent! And I am not suicidal. If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for 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!”
As he was taken out of the courtroom, Smollett raised his fist and screamed out, “I am not suicidal! I am not suicidal and I’m innocent. I could have said that I was guilty a long time ago.”
If i ever go to court again, i don’t care if it’s for a parking ticket. i’m gonna say this I AM NOT SUICIDAL,I’M INNOCENT, I COULD HAVE SAID I WAS GUILTY A LONG TIME AGO. as i walk out. GreenLightGang @bransoncognac @lecheminduroi pic.twitter.com/NQPYqqroXI
— 50cent (@50cent) March 11, 2022
50 Cent couldn’t resist weighing in on the courtroom outburst. Taking to social media, the notorious troll shared a clip while mocking Smollett.
“If i ever go to court again, i don’t care if it’s for a parking ticket. i’m gonna say this I AM NOT SUICIDAL, I’M INNOCENT,” wrote 50. “I COULD HAVE SAID I WAS GUILTY A LONG TIME AGO. as i walk out.”
However, some of 50’s followers didn’t see it as a laughing matter. “The fact that he said he is not suicidal is concerning to me,” tweeted one person, while another added, “He’s saying ahead of time, ‘I’m not suicidal’ so that if he ends up dead, it will hopefully raise eyes to the situation.”
I think he’s referring to the fact that people of color can often end up dying in police custody under the guise of SUICIDE. Therefore, he’s saying ahead of time, “I’m not suicidal” so that if he ends up dead, it will hopefully raise eyes to the situation.
— Flip Boyd (@Boydfe) March 11, 2022
Smollett will be held in protective custody while serving his time behind bars at Chicago’s Cook County jail, a request made by he and his team. The goal of protective custody is to protect an inmate from any form of harm while they serve their time.