HomeEntertainmentJussie Smollett talks “gratitude” in new interview, again maintains innocence in hate crime hoaxJussie Smollett talks “gratitude” in new interview, again maintains innocence in hate crime hoaxThu, June 23, 2022 by ABC NewsSHARE NOW Courtesy Cook County Sheriff’s Office(NOTE LANGUAGE) Jussie Smollett “went where the love is” for a very friendly interview with the SiriusXM show Sway in the Morning, where he again maintained his innocence in the hate crime hoax for which he was convicted and spent six days in jail.The former Empire star was convicted of staging the attack by paying two Nigerian men to pretend to be racist Donald Trump supporters and rough him up in Chicago in January 2019, including putting a noose around his neck.When he was sentenced earlier this year, Cook County Judge James Linn excoriated Smollett, calling him a “charlatan” who “denigrated” actual hate crime victims.“If I had done this, I’d be a piece of s***. And I don’t think that’s really questionable,” Smollett insisted to Sway in the interview. “I know I didn’t do this.”“If I had done something like this, it would mean that I stuck my fist in the pain of black African Americans in this country for over 400 years,” the actor added. “It would mean that I stuck my fist in the fears of the LGBTQ community all over the world. I am not that motherf*****. Never have been. Don’t need to be.”Smollett said his six-day stay behind bars let him “reset and regain clarity,” through fasting.“Lord knows I wanted to get out. I was in a f***ing psych ward,” he noted.Smollett said ultimately, “…everybody inside was very kind and when I left [jail], I thanked them all…you just showed me respect I’m grateful for."”Jussie also addressed some of those in the entertainment industry who took shots at him, like Dave Chappelle, whose “Juicy Smollett” bit became an instant classic.“I’ve seen him since, and that’s all I’ll say,” Smollett declared.Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.