Jurnee Smollett Breaks Silence On Jussie’s Jail Sentence

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The former Empire actor was convicted of staging an anti-gay and racist attack on himself late last year, and was sentenced to 150 days in jail several days ago.


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He will also serve a 30-month probation sentence and pay $120,106 in restitution and $25,000 in fines.

“I am innocent, and I am not suicidal,” Jussie said following his verdict. “If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself and you must all know that.”


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Throughout the trial, and following allegations that the attack was a hoax, Jussie maintained his innocence. 

Taking to Instagram, Jurnee shared an image of a black square with the hashtag #FreeJussie in all-caps, writing, “Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at nearly five times the rate of white Americans.”


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“Jussie is innocent,” she continued. “And…you don’t have to believe in his innocence to believe he should be free. #FreeJussie #StopLockingUpOurPeople.”

Jurnee’s call to action was echoed by fellow actor and Pose star Indya Moore, who wrote, “You should not be in jail. #Free Jussie. Bless you, you got community here.”

Insecure actor Kendrick Sampson shared Indya’s post to his Instagram Story, writing, “Breonna Taylor‘s murderer, and an endless list of other cops, can’t be held accountable…but Jussie is locked in a CAGE for allegedly lying to police? How many Karens have lied to the police UNDER OATH a la Emmett Till with no accountability?”


Kendrick Sampson / Instagram

Taraji P. Henson — who starred alongside Jussie on Empire — also shared a message, writing, “I am not here to debate you on his innocence, but we can agree that the punishment does not fit the crime.”

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