Actor Jussie Smollett has been moved to a psychiatric ward at Cook County Jail, his brother announced on Instagram, days after Smollett was sentenced for staging a hate crime and lying to police.
In a video posted to Instagram Sunday afternoon, the actor's brother, Jocqui Smollett, stated a note attached to Smollett's paperwork said he was at risk of self-harm, and he was transferred to a psychiatric unit.
Jocqui Smollett disagreed with the move, calling the reported placement an "outrage" and "lack of justice."
"I just want to make it clear to folks, he is in no way shape or form at risk of self-harm," Jocqui Smollett said. "He is very stable, he is very strong, he is very healthy and ready to take on the challenge that has ultimately been put up against him."
A judge on Thursday sentenced Smollett to 150 days in Cook County Jail following his conviction for lying to police about being the victim of a hoax hate crime in 2019.
He began his sentence immediately after learning his fate Thursday.
On Friday, as anticipated, the actor's defense attorneys filed a notice of appeal in Cook County Criminal Court as well as an emergency injunction seeking the actor's release.
An appellate court judge ruled prosecutors have five days to respond to the emergency motion.
The criminal case made international headlines when Smollett, who is Black and gay, reported to police that two men wearing ski masks beat him, and hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him on a dark Chicago street and ran off.
In December, Smollett was convicted in a trial that included the testimony of two brothers who told jurors Smollett paid them to carry out the attack, gave them money for the ski masks and rope, instructed them to fashion the rope into a noose. Prosecutors said he told them what racist and homophobic slurs to shout, and to yell that Smollett was in “MAGA Country,” a reference to the campaign slogan of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
During his sentencing, Smollett was allowed to make a statement, but chose not to on the advice of counsel, citing a potential appeal in the case.
But just after the judge read the sentence, Smollett addressed the court and once again denied wrongdoing in the case.
“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," Smollett said, standing up at the defense table as his lawyers and sheriff's deputies surrounded him. “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.”
As deputies led Smollett from the courtroom, he repeatedly shouted that he was innocent, and that he was not suicidal.
In his ruling, Judge James B. Linn said the incident's "extreme premeditation" was an aggravating factor in the case. He also said that he believed Smollett orchestrated the attack to an exacting degree, rehearsing it extensively.
"You turned your life upside down," Linn said. "You destroyed your life as you know it. There is nothing I can do to you today that will come close to the damage you've done to your own life."