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Jussie Smollett has been moved from a psych ward and into a jail cell with a bed, according to his brother, Jocqui Smollett.
Jocqui took to his brother’s official Instagram account early Tuesday with a video message to the former “Empire” actor’s supporters with a “day five update.”
“So I just got to see him. Just want to give y’all an update on his status. Thank you so much for the support, all the hashtag #FreeJussie, it’s working. He’s now been moved to a new jail cell out of the psych ward that has a bed. Before he was sleeping on a restrained bed and now he’s been moved to a jail cell that actually has a bed. Thank you so much. That’s really because of all the #FreeJussie that’s been going on. It’s all the pressure we’re applying on Cook County and Cook County Jail,” Jocqui explained.
Jussie’s brother went on to slam Cook County and its jail.
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“Unfortunately, Cook County doesn’t really move until they get bad publicity and so we have to just keep applying pressure, y’all. So keep reposting with #FreeJussie. Keep continuing to call Cook County Jail checking in on him and keep saying that you believe he should be free,” Jocqui added.
The former child actor called his brother’s predicament “absolutely ridiculous.”
“You folks need to understand that this really sets a precedent. You should be terrified of the precedent this sets. This means you could be literally just be associated with two individuals who lie on you and that’s all it takes is their word for the state to lock you up. There is no evidence linking Jussie to this crime. There is absolutely no evidence, no emails, no letters, no phone calls, no text messages, none of that.”
Jocqui also thanked people who have sent Jussie letters to help keep him “strong” and “focused.”
“He’s read all of them and he’s going to reply to every single one of them,” Jocqui said.
“Do not be sheep,” the brother warned, along with a message to not listen to the media.
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Jussie’s Instagram bio now informs his 4.4 million followers that it’s run by the Smollett family.
News of Jussie being transferred out of a cell in the psych ward comes just hours after the actor’s legal team filed an emergency motion asking a judge for a stay regarding his 150-day sentence and/or to grant the actor bail pending the status of his court appeal.
“Mr. Smollett has become the target of vicious threats in the social media forums which no doubt reflects the hatred and wish for physical harm towards Smollett which he may experience during incarceration,” the filing reads. On Monday, TMZ shared alleged “harassing” messages to Smollett’s siblings aimed toward the actor.
“Mr. Smollett anticipates he will most likely be assigned to segregated incarceration or protective custody, both euphemisms for solitary confinement; a situation which could have extraordinary damage on his mental health,” the filing continues. “As a result, any custodial setting poses a safety and health danger to the life of Mr. Smollett.”
Smollett was immediately remanded in Cook County Jail in Illinois following his sentencing hearing. According to a sworn affidavit from a doctor that was included in the filing appealing for his release, Smollett is at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 while carrying out his five-month term due to a compromised immune system.
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“I have been asked to provide an analysis regarding whether incarcerating Mr. Jussie Smollett in an Illinois jail or prison poses a potentially deadly risk to his health from an epidemiological and medical perspective,” the affidavit of Dr. Michael D. Freeman reads.
“It is my opinion that the incarceration of Mr. Smollett, in jail or prison, poses a substantially increased risk top his health,” it states, adding that given the fact as of March 6, the coronavirus pandemic “had caused more than 445 million cases and approximately 6 million deaths worldwide, making it the deadliest pandemic in recent history,”… “incarceration in a jail or prison setting poses a heightened danger to Mr. Smollett’s health when taking his current health status, including compromised immunity, into account.”
Over the weekend, Jocqui said he had been moved to the psych ward due to “being at risk of self-harm.”
“I want to make it clear that he is in no way, shape, or form at risk of self-harm,” Jocqui Smollett said. “He wants to let folks know that he is very stable, he is very strong, he is very healthy and ready to take on the challenge that… has been put up against him.”
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After being ordered into custody to begin serving 150 days in jail, the actor addressed the court one last time – despite the fact he said prior to having his sentence read that he had nothing to say.
Smollett stood up and affirmed his innocence in a passionate declaration to Cook County Judge James Linn, saying, “I’m not suicidal.”
“I respect you, your honor,” Smollett said as he placed his hands together in a gesture toward the bench. “I respect your decision. Jail time? I am not suicidal. … If anything happens to me in there I did not do it to myself!”
Smollett was then surrounded by sheriff’s deputies before he was led away from the courtroom – but not before raising his right fist in the air on the way out.
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Linn also sentenced Smollett to 30 months of felony probation. Smollett was also ordered to pay $120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago.
Fox News’ Julius Young, Janelle Ash and The Associated Press contributed to this report.