Jussie Smollett’s attorney said the actor is concerned he’ll die behind bars and likened his situation to Jeffrey Epstein’s mysterious hanging death in federal custody.
Moments after Judge James Linn told Smollett on Thursday evening he’d be spending five months at the Cook County jail for lying to police, he bizarrely began shouting to the court that he was “not suicidal,” repeating the remark over and over again.
“I did not do this and I am not suicidal and if anything happens to me when I go there, I did not do it to myself and you must all know that,” Smollett, 39, bellowed to the court as he was led away by sheriff’s deputies.
“Your honor, I respect you and I respect your decision, but I did not do this and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.”
When asked about the comments Thursday night, Smollett’s lead attorney Nenye Uche said they were made “for a specific reason.”
“I don’t want people to think, well, is he going crazy? Why is he yelling ‘I’m not suicidal’? He was doing it for a specific reason because, let’s be honest, we have the Epstein situation, where he was found dead in his jail even in protective custody,” Uche told reporters.
“What Mr. Smollett was concerned about was, what if he turns up dead in protective custody? He doesn’t want people to think he killed himself,” he continued.
“I cannot blame him because I have sued a lot of jails for unexplained deaths.”
In August 2019, Epstein was found hanging in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
The incident was later ruled a suicide, but it sparked a number of conspiracy theories that his death was an ordered hit by powerful people whom Epstein was perhaps considering exposing as being part of his sex-trafficking ring.
This is an excerpt from the New York Post.
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