Despite having been the subject of ridicule, there has been a rallying cry for the release of Jussie Smollett. The actor was recently found guilty of five counts related to an attack on him that took place back in 2019. Smollett is accused of staging the assault for fame and currently, he is serving out his 150-day sentence in Chicago’s Cook County jail.

Smollett’s siblings, as well as his friends like Taraji P. Henson, have used their platforms to raise awareness as they ask for Jussie’s sentence to be reduced. According to Rolling Stone, Smollett’s attorneys have filed a motion for his emergency release after allegedly receiving disturbing messages targeting the actor.

The outlet reported that one of Smollett’s siblings received a call on the line left open as the actor’s emergency phone number. 

“I hope what they do to that guy in jail — here’s what they’re going to do, right. They’re going to take a broom handle, and take that little [expletive], shove it in there, and he’s gonna go, ‘[shrieking sound],’” a man’s voice reportedly said in the call.

The threat appears to recall the horrific 1997 police assault on Abner Louima in Brooklyn, in which Louima was sodomized with a broken broomstick in the bathroom of the 70th precinct by Justin Volpe, the disgraced NYPD Officer now serving 30 years for the attack.

The spokesperson who shared the information on Smollett’s behalf also reportedly said that the emergency phone line for the actor has been targeted with dozens of calls since last Friday (March 11). Smollett’s attorneys claimed in court documents that their client is the victim of “vicious threats” and they’ve called for an emergency suspension of his sentence. They reportedly fear for his physical safety, but also have stated that keeping him in “protective custody” or “solitary confinement” can cause “extraordinary damage on his mental health.”

They also argued that he is susceptible to COVID-19 because of his “compromised immune system.” Smollett is reportedly being held in a psychiatric ward for evaluation. It is unclear how long he is to stay there.