Ex-Empire star Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to jail for staging a hate crime.
On Thursday, the actor was found guilty on 5 counts of disorderly conduct with the judge ordering him to spend five month behind bars.
Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 30 months of probation, the first five of which must be spent in Cook County Jail.
The sentence comes almost three years after the California-born actor asked two men to “fake beat him up” tie a noose around his neck, douse him in bleach and shout racist and homophobic slurs at him, on Streeterville Street corner near his apartment.
Former chief of the Chicago Police Department had previously stated Smollett planned the hoax in order to get a raise on the set of “Empire”, Linn disagreed with that notion however, saying the actor was purely motivated by a “national pity party” and “attention”.
And now, the family and Smollett’s lawyers are pressing for an emergency suspension on the sentence, saying “vicious threats” and a disturbing anonymous phone call raised concerns of the actors safety behind bars.
One of Smollett’s siblings received a disturbing anonymous phone call on Friday morning from the number that was given as Smollett’s emergency contact number, a man’s voice saying:
“I hope what they do to that guy in jail — here’s what they’re going to do, right. They’re going to take a broom handle, and take that little [expletive], shove it in there, and he’s gonna go, ‘[shrieking sound],”
The disturbing threat appears to reference the horrific 1997 police assault on Abner Louima in Brooklyn, in which Louima was attacked, brutalized and raped with a broken broomstick in the 70th precinct by Justin Volpe, the NYPD officer now serving 30 years for the attack.
Smollett’s spokeswoman said the caller made repeated calls of a similar nature to the actors siblings, stating he has also become a target of “vicious threats” online.
Jocqui Smollett, the brother of the convicted, had this to say:
Smollett is yet to receive a reply to his request.