Responding to claims that writers were preparing for Jussie Smollet’s return to Empire, the show’s co-creator, Lee Daniels has now confirmed that the actor will NOT be returning to Empire in a recent tweet.
— lee daniels (@leedanielsent) June 4, 2019
Other than in some flashback scenes, Jussie Smollett has not appeared on the show since being accused of staging a homophobic attack against himself in Chicago earlier this year. In March, he pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct relating to the alleged scam. Chicago prosecutors abruptly dropped the charges later that month.
Amid the scandal, the show’s producers and writers cut him from the final episodes of the fifth season, however, the actor’s representatives negotiated a contract extension for the actor to potentially reappear on the show, but now, it’s official – Jussie is out.
Jussie’s criminal case has been a complicated one to keep up with, to be honest. You’d recall that;
- On the 29th of January, 2019, Jussie Smollett claimed he was attacked by two masked men, who the actor said made reference to MAGA (make America great again) – the slogan often used by President Donald Trump and his supporters.
- This led to the arrest of brothers – Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo by Chicago police on the 14th of February. The brothers had worked as extras on Empire.
- However, the brothers were released a few days later by the police without been charged with any criminal offence.
- On 20th of February, Jussie Smollett was arrested and charged with filing a false police report after the police claimed the actor paid the Osundairo brothers to stage the attack
- On March 1st, the Osundairos said they “regret” their involvement in the incident and barely two weeks later, Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct.
- 12 days after that, all charges levelled against Jussie Smollet were controversially dropped but the city of Chicago filed a $130,000 lawsuit against the actor in order to recoup the cost of the police investigation.
This is sad news for both the actor and the fans of the show, Empire. We really hope Jussie bounce’s back from this career-wrecking drama. Jamal (his character’s name on Empire) will greatly be missed.
Stay Strong Jussie!