Jussie Smollett's release from jail was 'one of the greatest reliefs he's ever experienced,' brother says

Jussie Smollett is out of jail right now pending an appeal and his attorneys said they're confident in the process going forward.

The former "Empire" actor's release comes after only six nights behind bars after his conviction for making false police reports about a staged fake hate crime.

An appeals court voted 2-to-1 to let him out, pending the appeal of his conviction.

Smollett’s attorneys had argued that he would have completed the sentence by the time the appeal process was completed and that Smollett could be in danger of physical harm if he remained locked up in Cook County Jail.


Jussie's older brother, Jojo, talked to Good Day Chicago Thursday about what it means to have his brother free.

"I was really grateful, really grateful," Jojo Smollett said. "You know for the last three years, legally, a lot of things have not gone his way. Once again, even though I disagree with the conviction I really thought that when we went to sentencing, I really thought, you know, I was listening to a lot of television reports and a lot of legal analysts and a lot of them were considering jail time not very likely. [Jussie] has no criminal history, and the nature of this crime is not even a felony in most states. So, I was really surprised at the jail time that was given. Our entire family was and I think a lot of people in the community were as well."

A jury convicted Smollett in December on five felony counts of disorderly conduct — the charge filed when a person lies to police. He was acquitted on a sixth count. Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett last week to 150 days in jail, but with good behavior he can be released in as little as 75 days.

"I just think that this was probably one of the greatest reliefs he's ever experienced to have been granted this reprieve from the situation," Jojo Smollett said. "He's not out of the woods legally and he still has a lengthy sentence, as far as 30 months of probation, and he also has a lot of restitution and fines to pay but I'm really grateful for the system in working in the appellate court's decision."

Smollett was given a 150,000 personal recognizance bond, meaning he doesn’t have to pay a dime but agrees to come back to court when needed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.