Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor was ordered to be released from jail Wednesday after he was convicted of lying about a hate crime when the court agreed to stay the sentence a judge handed down last week, according to court documents.
After being convicted of fraudulently reporting to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019, Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail and probation.
On Wednesday, a judge approved his motion that requested that the sentencing be postponed or deferred and ordered him to be released on bond pending his appeal. The office of the special prosecutor called the claim that Smollett’s health was in danger “factually incorrect,” in a response to his motion, pointing out that Smollett was in protective custody.
Smollett could be released after posting a $150,000 personal recognizance bond, meaning he won’t have to put money down but will still show up in court as needed.
The manhunt for the attackers soon turned into an investigation of Smollett, who was charged with orchestrating the attack and lying to police.
Last Monday, Smollett’s attorneys claimed they wanted to appeal, but the judge who sentenced him dismissed their petitions for a stay of execution. A jury convicted Smollett in December of five counts of felony disorderly conduct- the charge filed when a person lies to police.
Smollett, who is Black and gay, was found guilty by a jury of lying concerning his claim that he was brutally assaulted in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood early Jan. 29, 2019.
He allegedly staged a bogus assault, according to authorities. Smollett has refuted the allegations and has stated that he is innocent.
At Smollett’s sentencing last Thursday, Cook County Circuit Judge James Linn chastised him, saying he made up the hate crime to get attention.
“You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime,” Linn said at sentencing.
Smollett claimed that two guys assaulted and kicked him, yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, threw a chemical in his face, and strangled him with a noose.
Authorities said he recruited two brothers who worked on the set of “Empire” with Smollett to stage the attack.
The brothers have not been charged criminally in the case, and their counsel stated last week that they will not be as they “regret their role in the case and hope that the sentence today brings closure to the affected people of Chicago.”
Kamala Harris was one of the first indicating that she supported his claims.
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
Smollett was sentenced to 30 months of probation, including 150 days in jail, by Linn last week. He was also fined $25,000 and forced to pay $120,100 in reparations to the city of Chicago, including the Police Department that had fronted dozens of hours during the investigation..
Smollett was arrested in February 2019 and indicted on counts that he lied to the police, but weeks later the charges were unexpectedly dropped when he was offered a deal that includes community service and a $10,000 bond forfeiture.
The conviction and criminal case against Smollett will be appealed, according to his lawyers.
They stated that while the appeals are continuing, Smollett would likely serve the 150 days of jail time he was sentenced to.