Shortly after being ordered into custody to begin serving 150 days in jail on Thursday, actor Jussie Smollett finally started to speak, reports the Chicago Tribune. He was innocent, he said. He was not suicidal. Then the former “Empire” actor stood up at the defense table and began talking directly to Judge James Linn, something he’d declined to do during the hearing.
“I respect you, your honor,” Smollett said, his voice rising as he gestured with his hands as though he wanted to say more. “I respect your decision. Jail time? I am not suicidal. … If anything happens to me in there I did not do it to myself!”
As Smollett’s attorney tried in vain to get the judge to stay his decision, Smollett was slowly surrounded by sheriff’s deputies before being led from the courtroom, pausing to pump his fist in the air as he disappeared from view into a rear lockup.