Jussie Smollett has been freed from jail pending the appeal case over his recent conviction for lying to police about a staged hate crime.
The former Empire actor was found to have lied about his alleged attack in 2019, in which he claims that two assailants had physically assaulted him, shouting homophobic and racial slurs before dousing him in bleach and tying a noose around his neck. The alleged culprits were later identified as Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo – both of whom claimed that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to attack him.
According to TMZ, the appeals court ordered the former Empire actor’s release after his lawyers launched a petition, citing fears for his safety.
Smollett was subsequently permitted to leave Cook County Jail on Wednesday (March 16), after serving six days of his 150-day sentence. The 39-year-old was also required to post a personal recognizance bond of $150,000 – a sum which he will lose if he fails to attend any future court hearings.
Addressing the decision, one of Smollett’s lawyers, Tina Glandian, said, “We are gratified that Jussie will be back with his family and loved ones and look forward to a dispassionate review and reversal of the series injustice visited upon him.”
Smollett continues to maintain his innocence as his legal team prepares to launch the appeal process.