Jussie Smollett reiterates his innocence in new charity song ‘Thank You God’.
On 10 March, former Empire actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days behind bars and 30 months probation after a jury found him guilty of lying to police about being the victim of a racist, homophobic attack.
In 2019, Smollett claimed that two masked men put a noose around his neck while shouting homophobic slurs as well as some Trump related rhetoric.
The story did not add up after investigation however and it was later discovered Smollett had paid Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, two brothers who worked on Empire as extras, to stage the attack in order to advance his career.
During sentencing, Smollett delivered an impassioned plea, maintaining his innocence and declaring that he isn’t suicidal:
“I am not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself,” he said. “And you must all know that.”
“If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBTQ community,” he added.
“Your honour, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this, and I am not suicidal.”
Smollett was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and $120,106 in restitution.
An appeal was immediately launched by his lawyers and, on 16 March, after six days behind bars, the First District Court of Appeals ruled that he should be released pending the appeal on the condition of a $150,000 personal recognisance bond, meaning he is only required to pay if he fails to show up to court when required.
Smollett’s attorneys argued that their client would wind up serving the entirety of his sentence during the appeals process, partnered with the claim that being behind bars would put him in harm’s way and that he carried significant risk of catching COVID-19 due to a compromised immune system.
During sentencing, Judge Hames Linn claimed that the actor staged the crime because he “craved the attention” and is a “charlatan pretending to be the victim of a hate crime”.
Smollett and his family have continued to maintain his innocence throughout.
Smollett has since shared a new track, called ‘Thank You God’, via Instagram over the weekend, proceeds from which he says will go to non-profit organisations.
The song’s lyrics include Jussie referencing the case, saying, “You think I’m stupid enough to kill my reputation? Just to simply look like a victim, like it’s something fun // Y’all better look at someone else, you’ve got the wrong one.”
The lyrics continue: “Some people searching for fame / Some people chasing that clout / Just remember this, this ain’t that situation / You think I’m stupid enough to kill my reputation?”
Check out the track below:
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