Last week, over three years after the alleged attack that a court deemed staged, Jussie Smollett’s wild ride seemed to come to an end. The actor and singer was sentenced to 150 days in prison for issuing a false police report a month-and-a-half after being found guilty. But a mere six days later, he’s ready to be set back into the free world.
As per The New York Times, on Wednesday, less than a week after the sentencing, Smollett is set to leave the slammer after an Illinois appellate court ruled that he could be released on bond. His lawyers had promised to appeal their client’s conviction, arguing that the sentence should be stayed for two reasons: his term would likely have been completed after the appeal process was even completed, and because they thought incarceration threatened his life and safety.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, argued that, by that logic, all short prison sentences should be stayed if they’re under appeal.
Of the three justices on the appellate court, two agreed to the release, providing he post a $150,000 recognizance bond.
As he was hauled out of court, Smollett continued to do what he’s always done: He asserted his innocence. He also assured the court that he was not suicidal and that if anything happened to him in prison, it was not by his own hand. His family has claimed he’s been the target of abuse on social media and that in prison his life was at risk.
To say the Smollett case has been a rollercoaster would be an understatement. In January of 2019, he claimed he’d been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. His story quickly unraveled in creative ways. His alleged attackers were soon unmasked, claiming they’d been hired by Smollett to “fake beat him up.” The trial, which didn’t take place until late 2021, was no less wild, revealing, among other things, that Smollett had did drugs and masturbated with one of his alleged attackers. Now that Smollett is ready to be released back into the world, still maintaining his innocence, who knows what twists the tale will take next.