Jussie Smollett is said to be making efforts to regain control of his life following a tumultuous sequence of public incidents.
According to TMZ‘s report on Wednesday, the 41-year-old Empire star is slated to begin treatment at an outpatient rehab facility.
“Jussie has had an extremely difficult past few years. He has quietly been working very hard for some time now and we are proud of him for taking these necessary steps,” a rep for the actor said in a statement to TMZ.
Jussie Smollett has checked into a rehab facility for an outpatient program after reps of his said he’s had “an extremely difficult past few years.” 👀 pic.twitter.com/JFJB3G0tZS
— No Jumper (@nojumper) October 20, 2023
The statement did not disclose the nature of his treatment. Nonetheless, during his widely covered trial related to an incident on January 29, 2019, the Osundairo brothers, Abimbola “Bola” and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, claimed that they had supplied Smollett with a range of illicit substances.
In March 2022, the actor from “The Skinny” was handed a sentence involving jail time and probation for his involvement in a staged hate crime hoax with the Osundairo brothers and for filing a false police report regarding the incident. His sentence included 30 months of felony probation, with the initial 150 days served in jail, along with orders to pay $120,106 in restitution and a $25,000 fine. He was released after spending less than a week in jail while awaiting an ongoing appeal of his conviction in the Illinois courts.
Jussie Smollett, who identifies as a gay Black man, alleged that on the night of January 29, 2019, while returning home from a Subway sandwich shop, he was assaulted by two individuals.
He asserted that the masked individuals hurled racist and homophobic epithets at him during the attack, while also placing a rope around his neck and splashing him with bleach.
In the course of the legal proceedings, Fox CEO Charlie Collier declared the removal of Jussie Smollett from his role as the musical artist Jamal Lyon for the sixth and concluding season of “Empire.”
After the choice to exclude him from the show’s cast, Jussie Smollett’s “Empire” co-star Taraji P. Henson voiced her support for him on several occasions.
“We miss Jussie,” she expressed during the PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Red Carpet Live: 2019 Emmy Awards pre-show. “He’s family to us. There’s no way we can throw five years of family away. I miss him.”
Throughout the legal proceedings, Smollett consistently asserted his innocence.
“I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go [to jail], I didn’t do it to myself and you must all remember that,” he conveyed to the court.
In under a week following Smollett’s sentencing, news broke that he would be set free from incarceration while his conviction is under appeal.
PEOPLE obtained court documents which revealed that the order was approved due to the fact that “the defendant has been convicted on non-violent offenses” and the court “will be unable to dispose of the instant appeal before the defendant would have served his entire sentence of incarceration.”
During that period, one of Jussie Smollett’s legal representatives, Tina Glandian from Geragos & Geragos, informed PEOPLE, “We are gratified that Jussie will be back with his family and loved ones and look forward to a dispassionate review and reversal of the serial injustices visited upon him.”
Having maintained a relatively low profile in the aftermath of the hate crime hoax controversy, Smollett made his first public appearance on the red carpet in years. This occurred when he attended a screening of his directorial debut, “B-Boy Blues,” at the AMC Magic Johnson Harlem multiplex in New York City in November 2021.
“To see all the love for the film is crazy beautiful. More to come while I catch up but to everyone who came out last night with so much love and community … on behalf of everyone @bboybluesthefilm, Thank you. We love y’all. Now to find a home for it so the whole world can see,” Smollett conveyed on Instagram the day after the event.
In September, he attended court for the oral arguments in his appeal case.