Jussie Smollett is opening up about life after his conviction.
This week, the former “Empire” star sat down with SiriusXM’s Sway Calloway for a wide-ranging conversation, including getting candid about his legal troubles.
“How’s your spirit?” Calloway asked.
“My spirit is so… in such a season of gratitude,” Smollett sad. “Like my spirit is… I’ve never felt more clear, I’ve never felt more sober. I’ve never felt more.. I hope people don’t take that outta context, but I’m sure they will…. But I’ve never felt healthier and more grateful and more… I’ve never felt more blessed than I feel now. So, my spirit is, you know, is really good.”
In December 2021, the actor was convicted on five felony counts of disorderly conduct after being accused of faking a hate crime against himself. In March, he was sentenced to 150 days in jail but was released on bond while his case is on appeal.
“I’m still dealing with things…. I’m not shy to say that I am in therapy, as we all should be, because a lot of stuff that happened over the last three years, obviously, but also just life stuff,” Smollett continued. “You gotta be able to train your mind and not just train your body to be healthy and to be beautiful.
“I’m going where the love is and that’s why I’m here. You won’t see me everywhere. I’m not doing a lot of press. But it’s like, I’m going where the love is and why shouldn’t I? You know what I’m saying? Why should we subject ourselves to unnecessary pain or salaciousness or whatever? That’s why I come home to family.”
Smollett has denied that he committed any hoax but still has to deal with those who do not believe him.
Asked how he rectifies that, he admitted, “I don’t. There’s a part of me that, when I strip my ego, when I strip my personal emotions about it and my personal situation, the way that it was served to everybody, I absolutely understand why people felt betrayed.”
Talking about people he personally knows how have disconnected from him, Smollett added, “I also understand that we sometimes operate off of fear, and that when the whole mission is to alienate you so that you are just like vibrating in the wrong way, and like all the s**t around you is just wrong, that people just have to step back. But I don’t mind, I don’t hold the people to anything, that step back. I hold the people that went out there and said s**t, I hold them to something. And not the people that don’t know me. But the people that do know me, f**k outta here. Y’all know better than that. And y’all did that. That was some PR bulls**t. And you know who you are and I will not name names, and I love everybody, but I don’t like everybody.”
He also revealed his regrets about doing his now infamous TV interview with Robin Roberts about the controversy.
“I don’t wanna get too deep, because I love and respect Robin Roberts, you know what I’m saying?” he said. “But I did not want to do that interview. That interview wasn’t for me, that was for my character … I hadn’t watched the interview at all until we were on trial and I had to watch it because they were trying to use the interview as evidence of lies or whatever. So, I had to watch it and I watched it and I was mortified. I mean, I was mortified. I cringed at just… Every single word that I said in that interview was the truth, but there was a certain level of performative nature that came from it because I didn’t want to be there. And I was so angry and so offended that I had to go on national television and explain something that happened to me.”
Talking about his short stint in jail, Smollett said, “I fasted, I was there for six and a half days. I fasted for six and a half days. My lawyer, shout out to Nenye [Uche], but he was lying when he said that I was fasting for lent. I wasn’t fasting for lent, I was fasting because that’s what we do in my family. Like we fast for clarity. 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. And it was almost like when they told me that I was getting out, what I was doing is 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. So, I was fasting, and I had been prepping my family, most wonderful human beings. I live and die for them.”