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Court orders Jussie Smollett to be released from jail pending an appeal

The “Empire” actor was sentenced to 150 days in jail last week after being convicted of fabricating a hate crime in a case that roiled Chicago.

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was ordered released from jail Wednesday, after a court agreed to stay the sentence handed down by a judge last week, according to court documents.

Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail and probation after being convicted of falsely reporting to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019.

A court Wednesday granted a motion that he be allowed to be freed on bond pending an appeal.

The motion asked that the sentence be stayed, or put on hold.

Smollett’s attorneys last week said they planned an appeal, but the judge at sentencing denied their requests to stay the sentence.A jury convicted Smollett in December of five counts of felony disorderly conduct.

Smollett, who is Black and gay, claimed that he was brutally assaulted in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood early Jan. 29, 2019.

Authorities said he orchestrated a phony assault. Smollett has denied that and said he is innocent.

On Thursday at sentencing, Cook County Circuit Judge James Linn excoriated Smollett and said he fabricated the hate crime in order to gain attention.

“You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime,” Linn said at sentencing.

Smollett had claimed that two men punched and kicked him, used racist and homophobic slurs, threw a chemical in his face and wrapped a noose around his neck.

Authorities said that Smollett recruited two brothers who worked on the set of “Empire” to stage the attack.

They are not criminally charged in the case, and their attorney said last week that the brothers “regret their role in the case and hope that the sentence today brings closure to the affected people of Chicago.”

On Thursday Linn sentenced Smollett to 30 months’ probation, including 150 days in jail. He was also ordered to pay around $120,100 in restitution to the city of Chicago, and he was fined $25,000

Smollett’s attorneys plan to appeal the conviction and criminal case.

They argued for the stay of the jail sentence by saying that Smollett would likely serve the 150 days of jail time as the appeals are pending.

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