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Disgraced Hollywood actor Jussie Smollett burst into what critics have described as either a “psychotic” or “Oscar-worthy” courtroom rant Thursday after being sentenced for the hate crime hoax he’d pulled in early 2019.
Judge James Linn sentenced the disgraced actor to 150 days in jail and 30 months of probation. He also ordered Smollett to pay $130,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago, in addition to a $25,000 fine.
In addition, the judge granted Smollett a number of privileges not usually afforded to those sentenced to any sort of probation.
“You’re going to be allowed to travel wherever you want. You do not have to live in the state of Illinois. You can report by phone. I know that if you’re going to try to make a living and do some of the things you do, you may have to go other places. … you can do those things,” Linn said.
Despite legal experts calling the sentence “fair,” and despite Smollett having said prior to being sentenced that he had nothing to say in his defense, when asked afterward whether he had “any questions,” the actor burst into a rant that some say was “psychotic” and others say was “Oscar-worthy.”
“I would just like to say to your honor that I am not suicidal. That’s what I would like to say. I’m not suicidal. I am not suicidal!” he initially said, with his voice quickly growing from calm to “psychotic.”
“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 in this country for over 400 years, and the fears of the LGBT community!” he continued.
“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, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that! I respect you, your honor, I respect your decision. Jail time. I am not suicidal.”
He then continued shouting “I am not suicidal!” as he was led out of the courtroom:
Speaking with Fox News after the sentencing, legal expert Ally F. Keegan, a criminal defense attorney operating out of San Diego, argued that Smollett received the best deal that’d been available to him.
“Judge James Linn noted he had two sentencing options: either a probationary period with up to 180 days in jail, or up to three years in prison,” she said.
Keegan added that the sentence was fair given the circumstances.
“From behind a plexiglass barrier and next to a diet cranberry juice, the judge recounted the numerous factors he believed made the case reprehensible: that Smollett had planned the hoax so meticulously, the negative impact it could have on real victims of hate crimes, the waste of law enforcement time and resources to investigate it, and Smollett’s own testimony that the judge said ‘can only be described as pure perjury,” she said.
So why the rant and rave? Some critics say he was having a “psychotic” breakdown. Others allege it was just another “Oscar-worthy” performance from the guy who’d brought them the fake story about Trump supporters attacking him in Chicago and claiming the notoriously left-wing city is “MAGA country“:
Jussie is psychotic lmao
— Doc Harris (@NahG89) March 11, 2022
After Jussie Smollett serves his time, his family really needs to look into having him committed for some very serious mental health treatment. His stubborn refusal to back down from his lies & his delusion that is a victim, coupled with that he even did this, seems psychotic.
— Umohowet Taushi Yelayu (@yelayu) March 11, 2022
Good Lord, Jussie is completely psychotic. He stands up and still claims to be innocent and screaming he isn’t suicidal 🤣 #JussieSmollett
— Cindy Woods 🇺🇸 (@wolf1u2) March 11, 2022
It’s the fact that Jussie Smollett is still acting this out like he’s campaigning for an Oscar. A stunt queen has no limit, even if their ass is going to jail. Bless.
— ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) March 11, 2022
Jussie Smollet did some of his finest acting in court. Oscar worthy
— JT Westberry (@Buc_ball711) March 11, 2022
Bravo Jussie!! U can pick up your Oscar when u get out of jail. pic.twitter.com/96G2XlLSTn
— patriot1972 (@patriot19724) March 11, 2022
Jussie finally won the Oscars he worked so hard for! pic.twitter.com/0jfoQ72pjB
— Mary Dyslexia (@maryh4751) March 11, 2022
Some critics have also noted that Smollett’s family acted just as “psychotic” after the sentence.
During a press conference following his sentence, the actor’s family proclaimed his alleged innocence and called for “journalists” to investigate. His grandmother, Molly, even linked her grandson’s sentence to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He’s innocent, OK, like so many in prison who shouldn’t be there. Get the white-collar guys, OK, who’re really making money, who’re really corrupt. We’ve got to do something about saving democracy here so we don’t get another Putin,” she said.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson meanwhile has his own theory.
Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” late Thursday, he noted that it sounded like Smollett thinks he’s going to be “Epsteined” in jail.
“So Jussie Smollett is worried he is going to get Epsteined while in jail. Did he offend the Clintons somehow? Not that we know of. We will watch the story carefully,” he said.
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