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Jussie Smollett insists he’s not ‘a piece of shit’, says he gained clarity in prison


Disgraced actor Jussie Smollett has professed his innocence and insisted he is “not a piece of shit”.

Smollett, who was found guilty of paying two men to pose as racist and homophobic supporters of Donald Trump and attacking him with a noose and bleach, has been released from a Chicago jail in March after serving a six-day sentence.

The 40-year-old actor opened up about his high-profile lawsuit on Sway Calloway’s SiriusXM show, “Sway in the Morning,” saying he didn’t lie about the attack.

“If I had done that, I’d be a piece of shit. And I don’t think that’s really debatable,” Smollett said in the episode that aired Monday.

Smollett – best known for his role as Jamal Lyon on Fox’s ‘Empire’ – said being a black gay man prevents him from planning the attack.

“If I had done something like that, it would mean I put my fist in the pain of black African Americans in this country for over 400 years,” he told Sway.

“That would mean I stuck my fist into the fears of the LGBTQ community around the world. I’m not that mother-uh. I never was. No need to be.

Appearing to wipe the sweat from his brow repeatedly throughout the interview, Smollett said he used his six-day stint in the Cook County Jail as an opportunity to “reset and find the clarity” while fasting.

“I was not fasting for Lent. I was fasting because that’s what we do in my family, we fast for clarity,” he said, adding that he had never “been as clear as I was in those six and a half days. “.

The actor said the support he received from his family, especially his mother, helped him through his week behind bars.

Jussie Smollett insists he’s not ‘a piece of shit’, says he gained clarity in prison
Jussie Smollett has opened up about his hate crime scandal, his brief time in prison and the clarity he gained from his experiences on Sway Calloway’s SiriusXM show on June 21, 2022.
Youtube

“My family – the most wonderful human beings – I live and die for these people. Let me tell you something, mom isn’t going anywhere. Mom is a house cat.

“She was like, ‘Look at me staying in LA and my baby’s in Chicago.’ She didn’t play,” he said, holding back tears.

Jussie Smollett insists he’s not ‘a piece of shit’, says he gained clarity in prison
Jussie Smollett at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois on March 10, 2022 after being convicted of lying to police about a reported hate crime.
Getty Images

Smollett spoke about his experience of being locked in a cell for six days, saying he was thrown into a psychiatric ward.

“God knows I wanted out. I was in a fucking mental ward… I was sleeping on a restraint bed but I wasn’t restrained,” he said.

“I have to be realistic, everyone inside was very nice and when I left I thanked them all. I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re thinking anyway, but the fact that you didn’t let me know what you think anyway and just showed me respect, I’m grateful.”

Jussie Smollett insists he’s not ‘a piece of shit’, says he gained clarity in prison
Although he was reportedly thrown into a psychiatric ward during his time in prison, Smollett says he used his prison time to “reset and regain clarity.”
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Smollett said he was forced to “surrender” to himself during his brief time in prison.

“There’s something about being in there and you have no choice but to surrender. Not to the system, not to a judge or a bunch of old white men ironically explaining the history of hate crimes to you, but you surrender to yourself,” he said. “You’re just left there with you, your thoughts and those walls.”

“I think the prison system needs to be dismantled,” he added.

Smollett was originally sentenced to five months in prison following his conviction on five counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police. He was ordered to pay the City of Chicago $120,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine after being found guilty.

Jussie Smollett insists he’s not ‘a piece of shit’, says he gained clarity in prison
Smollett was accused of lying to police when he reported that two masked men physically assaulted him, shouting racist and anti-gay slurs near his Chicago home in 2019.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Defense attorneys argued that Smollett was unconstitutionally charged twice with the same crime after the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office initially agreed to dismiss his case in 2019.

During the interview with Sway, Brandee Evans, Smollett’s friend and “B-Boy Blues” co-star, joined in the fun, gushing about her friendship with the troubled actor.

“He’s my friend for real,” Evans said. “I love Jussie. Jussie was my turn or die. When my ex-husband left me, I was literally at Jussie’s house. I love my friend, he was there through everything with me.

Jussie Smollett insists he’s not ‘a piece of shit’, says he gained clarity in prison
Smollett was also joined by her friend and actress Brandee Evans when she appeared on Sway’s show.
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Jussie Smollett insists he’s not ‘a piece of shit’, says he gained clarity in prison
Smollett starred alongside Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard on FOX’s hit show “Empire” before being cut short in the show’s fifth season following its hate crime controversy.
Photo by FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Smollett rose to fame at an early age, landing roles in films such as “The Mighty Ducks” and “North” when he was 10 years old.

The child star, originally from California, then starred alongside his five real siblings in ABC’s “On Our Own” from 1994 to 1995.

Smollett then landed a starring role in Patrik-Ian Polk’s LGBT-themed comedy-drama “The Skinny.”

After putting his name on the map in Hollywood, the actor became a guest star on ‘The Mindy Project’ in 2012 and ‘Revenge’ in 2014.

Later that year, Smollett landed the role of a lifetime in “Empire” opposite Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard. His character was cut from the final two episodes of the show’s fifth season following his hate crime controversy.


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