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Jussie Smollett Enters Rehab, Has Had 'Extremely Difficult' Few Years

Jussie Smollett Enters Rehab, Has Had 'Extremely Difficult' Few Years


Jussie Smollett Enters Rehab, Has Had 'Extremely Difficult' Few Years
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The announcement comes as the out actor appeals his conviction on charges that he faked a hate crime against himself.

Former Empire star Jussie Smollett has announced he is entering rehab after a difficult period in his life.

“Jussie has had an extremely difficult past few years,” a representative for the out actor told TMZ Wednesday. “He has quietly been working very hard for some time now, and we are proud of him for taking these necessary steps.” It’s unclear what specific treatment he will be receiving, although Smollett has mentioned that he’s used cocaine.

Smollett was convicted in 2021 of five out of six counts of disorderly conduct related to making a false report to police about a hate crime supposedly committed against him in Chicago in 2019. He claimed that on a cold night in January of that year, he was attacked by two men who beat him, used racist and antigay slurs, put a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him, then left him out in the frigid temperatures.

However, prosecutors said he staged the attack in order to get publicity. Two brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, said Smollett paid them to set it up. A Cook County jury ended up convicting Smollett in December 2021. In March 2022, Judge James Linn sentenced him to 150 days in jail, a fine of $25,000, and 30 months of probation and ordered him to pay about $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago.

Smollett has maintained he is not guilty and has appealed the conviction. He was released from jail after serving only a few days. Smollett’s attorneys said his sentence would be over by the time the appeals process played out, and they asserted that he would be in danger in the jail.

In March of this year, Smollett’s attorneys filed documents in the Illinois First Judicial District appellate court explaining why they’re appealing. For one thing, they said, Smollett’s trial amounted to double jeopardy. The Cook County state’s attorney had filed charges against Smollett and then dropped them, but after public outrage, a special prosecutor was appointed. The prosecutor, Dan Webb, empaneled a grand jury, which brought new charges.

“If Mr. Smollett’s convictions are allowed to stand, this case will set a dangerous precedent by giving prosecutors a second bite at the apple any time there is dissatisfaction with another prosecutor’s exercise of discretion,” the attorneys wrote.

After being accused of staging the crime, Smollett was written out of Empire, a TV series about struggles for control of a family-run record company. He made something of a comeback as director of the 2021 BET film B-Boy Blues, based on the James Earl Hardy novel about two Black men from different social classes who fall in love.

He appeared at the BET Awards last year and told Entertainment Tonightthat he was happy to have the chance “to expand the level of what I want to do ... to be able to usher in a new generation of artists and actors and these amazing talents.”

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