Jussie Smollett insists he’s not ‘a piece of shit’, says he got clarity from jail

Disgraced actor Jussie Smollett professed his innocence, insisting he is “not a piece of shit”.

Smollett, who allegedly paid two men to impersonate racist and homophobic Donald Trump supporters and attack him with a noose and bleach, was jumped from a Chicago jail in March after serving a six-day prison term. .

Addressing his highly publicized trial on Sway Calloway’s SiriusXM show, “Sway in the Morning,” the 40-year-old actor claimed he was not lying about the attack.

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

Smollett – best known for his role as Jamal Lyon in Fox’s “Empire” – said he is a black gay man making it impossible for him to stage the attack.

“Had I done something like that, it would have meant putting my fist into the pain of black African Americans in this country for over 400 years,” he told Sway.

“It would mean sticking my fist at the fears of the LGBTQ community around the world. I’m not that motherf-eh. Never been. Doesn’t have to be.”

Smollett appeared to wipe the sweat from his forehead several times during the interview, saying he used his six-day stay in the Cook County jail as an opportunity to “reset and gain clarity” through fasting.

“I did not fast before Lent. I was fasting because that’s what we do in my family, we fast for clarity,” he said, adding that he’s 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, has helped him through his week behind bars.

Sway Calloway and Jussie Smollet
Jussie Smollett spoke about his hate crime scandal, brief prison term and the clarity he gained from his experiences on Sway Calloway’s SiriusXM show on June 21, 2022.
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“My family – the most wonderful people – I live and die for those people. Let me tell you something, mommy ain’t going nowhere. Mom is a house cat.

“She said, ‘Look how I stay in LA and my baby is in Chicago.’ She didn’t play,” he said, fighting back tears.

Jussie Smollett was led out of court after being convicted at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on March 10, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.
Jussie Smollett at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois on March 10, 2022 after she was convicted of lying to police about a reported hate crime.
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Smollett shared his experience of being locked up in a cell for six days and said he was thrown into a psychiatric ward.

“Lord knows I wanted out. I was in the psychiatric ward… I slept on a restraint bed, but I wasn’t restrained,’ he said.

“I have to keep it real, everyone inside was really nice and when I left I thanked them all. I said, ‘I don’t know what you all think, but the fact that you haven’t let me know what you think, anyway and you’ve just shown me respect that I’m grateful for.’”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 16: Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett (lightmask) is released from the Cook County Department of Corrections detention center on March 16, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.  Smollett began serving a 150-day sentence on March 10, having been found guilty late last year of lying to police about a hate crime after reporting to police that two masked men had physically assaulted him and racially and anti-discriminate against him. gay comments shouted near his Chicago home in 2019. Today, an appeals court judge ordered him to be released while his case is appealed.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Despite reportedly being thrown into a psychiatric ward during his time in prison, Smollett says he used his prison time to “reset and get clarity.”
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Smollett said he had to “surrender” to himself during his brief stint in prison.

“There’s something about being in there and you have no choice but to surrender yourself. Not against the system, not against a judge or a bunch of old white men who ironically explain the history of hate crime to you, but you surrender to yourself,” he said. “You stay there with you, your thoughts and these walls.”

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

Smollett was initially 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.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 08: Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett exits the Leighton Criminal Courts Building as the jury begins to deliberate during his trial on December 8, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.  Smollett has been charged with lying to police when he reported that two masked men physically assaulted him and shouted racist and anti-gay comments near his Chicago home in 2019. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Smollett was charged with lying to police when he reported that two masked men physically assaulted him and shouted racist and anti-gay comments near his home in Chicago in 2019.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Defense attorneys argued that Smollett was twice unconstitutionally charged for the same crime after the Cook County State Department originally agreed to drop his case in 2019.

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

“This is really my friend,” Evans said. “I love Jussie. Jussie has been my ride or die. When my ex-husband left me, I was literally at Jussie’s house. I love my boyfriend, he’s been through everything with me.”

Sway Calloway, Jussie Smollett and Brandee Evans
Smollett was also joined by friend and actress Brandee Evans during his performance on Sway’s show.
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RICH: LR: Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett and Terrence Howard in the "Never doubt that I love" episode of EMPIRE airs Wednesday, April 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  (Photo by FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)
Smollett co-starred with Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in FOX’s hit “Empire” before being cut short in the series’ fifth season due to his hate crime controversy.
Photo by FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Smollett rose to fame at a young age, landing roles in such films as “The Mighty Ducks” and “North” at the age of 10.

Hailing from California, the child star starred in ABC’s “On Our Own” from 1994 to 1995 with his five real-life siblings.

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

After making his name in Hollywood, the actor guest-starred in “The Mindy Project” in 2012 and “Revenge” in 2014.

Later that year, Smollett landed the part of his life in “Empire” opposite Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard. His character was cut from the last two episodes of the show’s fifth season due to his hate crime controversy.

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