Jussie Smollett Denies Staging Hate Crime and Trying to Benefit From the ‘Pain of Black Americans’

Jussie Smollett (Credit: Deposit Photos)

Jussie Smollett insists he’s innocent and would never stick his “fist in the pain of Black Americans” by staging a hate crime.

In his first interview since being found guilty of felony disorderly conduct in December 2021, the Empire actor appeared on SiriusXM’s “Sway in the Morning” show on Tuesday to discuss the verdict, being abandoned by Hollywood insiders and his new film, B-Boy Blues.

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Smollett told host Sway Calloway he was surprised that people he thought were his friends backed away from supporting him when the guilty verdict came in.

“I genuinely thought that people were gonna be like, ‘there’s no way that he did some sh-t like that.’ I’m just like, ‘Y’all know me,'” he said. “I do hold some people accountable for the things that they said, for the things that they did, for the ways that they reacted because half of those people should have picked up the f—ing phone and called me, because they had my number, you know, and they didn’t.”

[Watch the interview below]

Smollett also defended himself against critics who said he paid two men to assault him in an effort to gain sympathy and boost his standing on Fox’s Empire.

“If I had done something like this, it would mean that I stuck my fist in the pain of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years. It would mean that I stuck my fist in the fears of the LGBTQ community, all over the world,” he insisted.

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Earlier this year, Smollett was sentenced by a Cook County judge to 150 days in jail for lying to Chicago police about his alleged attack. He was released on bond on March 16 while he appeals his conviction.

The 40-year-old performer confirmed reports that he spent time in the psych ward at Chicago’s Cook County Jail.

“I was there for six and a half days. I fasted for six and a half days,” he said, adding that fasting helped clear his mind. “I have never in my life, at least in my adult life, been as clear of mind as I was for those six and a half days… I was fasting until I found out whether or not I was gonna be in there for those five and a half months. I just wanted to know what my life was about to look like.”

The actor and singer noted he was not confined to a straitjacket or held in restraints.

“Lord knows I wanted to get out. I was in a f–ing psych ward… I was sleeping on a restraint bed but I wasn’t restrained,” he said.

He added that the people inside the jail treated him respectfully.

“I have to keep it real, everybody inside was very kind and when I left, I thanked them all. I said, ‘I don’t know what y’all think either way, but the fact that you didn’t let me know what you think either way and you just showed me respect I’m grateful for,’” he said.

Watch the full interview below: