CHICAGO — The lawyers for former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett filed an emergency motion to pause his sentence and grant bond.
Smollett, 39, started serving his 150 day sentence at the Cook County jail last Thursday after Judge James Linn sentenced the actor for lying to police that he had been the target of a racist and homophobic attack. Smollett was also sentenced to 30 months of felony probation, ordered to pay more than $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago and was fined $25,000.
The actor’s attorneys filed an emergency injunction Friday seeking Smollett’s release pending his appeal. His lawyer argues Smollett is in danger and is the target of online threats of physical harm.
Attorneys said Smollett’s sibling has been getting threatening, racist and homophobic phone calls ever since the number was listed at the jail as an emergency contact.
The defense is arguing against Smollett being kept in segregated incarceration because of potential damage to his mental and physical health.
An appellate court judge said prosecutors have five days to respond to the emergency motion.
His attorneys also filed a notice of appeal in Cook County Criminal Court. They had said Thursday night that they plan to appeal both the jury’s guilty verdict and the judge’s sentence.