Smollett drops new song declaring his innocence while he fights his conviction

“It’s like they’re hell-bent on not solving the crime” the former Empire actor sings on the track, which he posted to Instagram while he is free during his appeal.

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Actor Jussie Smollett is led out of the courtroom on March 10 after being sentenced at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Actor Jussie Smollett is led out of the courtroom on March 10 after being sentenced at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Brian Cassella, AP Photos

In a new song, ex-“Empire” actor and felon Jussie Smollett — who is free while he appeals his conviction for falsely reporting he was the victim of a hate crime — again proclaims his innocence, declaring, “You think I’m stupid enough to kill my reputation?”

The answer from jurors following Smollett’s eight-day trial last year and from the judge who gave the actor a serious scolding during his sentencing hearing last month would appear to be: “Yes.”

Jurors convicted Smollett on Dec. 8 on five of the six felony counts of disorderly conduct he faced. At his March 10 sentencing hearing, Judge James Linn issued a scathing rebuke of the actor, saying Smollett’s orchestration of the fake attack showed “astounding hypocrisy.”

“Your very name is a verb for lying,” Linn told Smollett in court. “I can’t imagine anything worse than that.”

Smollett immediately began proclaiming his innocence after Linn sentenced him to five months in the Cook County Jail on March 10, yelling, “I did not do this ... I am innocent.”

The actor served less than a week of that sentence in jail before a three-judge appellate court panel ordered him released pending his appeal.

A clip promoting the song was posted online Friday to the 4.4 million followers of Smollett’s Instagram account. A link directs followers to a website where the song, titled “Thank You God,” is available for streaming.

On the song, Smollett softly sings that his heart has been broken and he’s not sure how to put his life back together again over a minimalist hand-clap beat, soaring strings and harmonized vocals. On the song’s bridge, Smollett switches to spoken word and talks more directly about his case, including saying he “wouldn’t say that s- - -, especially to some white cops.”

“It’s like they’re hell-bent on not solving the crime. Taking out the elements of race and trans and homophobia that’s straight taking lives. But turn around and act like I’m the one that killed the strides,” Smollett continues, an apparent reference to comments by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb and the judge that Smollett’s actions had hurt true victims of hate crimes.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Instagram clip had been viewed more than 121,000 times and received more than 12,000 likes and 300 comments. The majority of commenters appeared supportive, with frequent use of the fire and heart emoji in their messages.

The post claims that “100% of the profits” for the new single will be given to the Rainbow Push Coalition, the Illinois Innocence Project and Secure The Bag Safety, which says it provides outreach and self-defense training.

Since Smollett was sentenced, his family has used his Instagram account to post attacks on Linn’s rulings and highlight evidence presented by Smollett’s defense team they feel was overlooked at the actor’s trial.

Defense attorney Kulmeet “Bob” Galhotra, who correctly predicted Linn would give Smollett “a taste of jail” as part of his sentence, said Webb could seek an order from the appellate court to restrict public statements about the case in response to the song.

But defense attorney Steve Greenberg said he doubted the promo clip and song would have any impact on Smollett’s appeal.

“I don’t think it’ll make a difference, because it’s the exact same thing [Smollett has] been saying all along,” Greenberg said. “There’s no jury to influence and ... the judges are going to focus on the legal issues.”

However, Greenberg said he would advise clients be careful about what they post with an appeal pending, particularly if they appear to attack a specific judge.

“That could tick off the appellate court judges, because it’s disrespectful,” Greenberg said. “Judges are human beings and these are their co-workers.”

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