Jussie Smollett’s new mugshot shows the actor appearing despondent in his shirt with the necktie he wore in court removed.
The Empire actor had an outburst in court, repeatedly yelling that he is “not suicidal,” implying there is a pending danger in the jail where he will serve time.
The 39-year-old begins his 150-day sentence for lying to Chicago police about a hate-crime assault he’d orchestrated on himself.
The disgraced actor continues to maintain his innocence despite the evidence presented in court, which included surveillance video, text messages, and the Osundairo brother’s testimony.
Smollett planned the staged attack with two Nigerian brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who he helped get minor roles on hit series Empire.
Jussie Smollet asks for protective custody after sentencing
Smollett asked for protective custody as he is set to begin his 5-month sentence in jail.
Cook County Judge James Linn, who admonished the actor as an “arrogant, narcissistic” charlatan, granted his request to be held in protective custody.
The judge asked Smollett if he had anything to say, and in a calm tone, he said:
“No, I would just like to say to your honor that I am, um, I am not suicidal.”
The actor then raised his voice, proclaiming his innocence as he rose to his feet.
“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 who have been in this country for over 400 years, and the fears of the LGBT community.”
He doubled down, claiming he did not stage the attack continuing, “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,” he said, his hands together as if in prayer, “then I did not do it to myself.”
Samuel L. Jackson asked judge to have mercy on Smollett
Samuel L. Jackson and his wife, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, sent a letter to the judge ahead of Jussie Smollett’s asking for mercy on the actor, according to Entertainment Tonight.
In the letter, Jackson revealed that he had known Smollett since he was a child and cited his charitable efforts in the past.
The legendary actor implored the judge to find an alternative to jail time due to the nature of the crime and Smollett’s lack of a criminal l record.
“Jussie has already suffered a great deal of punishment, as this situation has destroyed his existing career and impugned his reputation. Please, Judge Linn, in God’s name, please save this young man and allow him to be of service. Jussie Smollett is worth the risk and the investment,” the letter concluded.