Jussie Smollett's character cut from season's final 2 episodes of 'Empire'

9 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago Friday, February 22 2019 Feb 22, 2019 Friday, February 22, 2019 11:37:00 AM CST February 22, 2019 in News
By: Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
loading

 (CNN) -- The producers behind Fox's "Empire" have decided to remove actor Jussie Smollett's character from the final two episodes of the current season following his arrest this week.

The decision, producers said, was made to "avoid further disruption on set."

"The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us," the statement said. "Jussie has been an important member of our 'Empire' family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out."

The statement was signed by seven "Empire" producers, including Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, and showrunner Brett Mahoney.

"Empire" is in the midst of filming its fifth season finale in Chicago.

Chicago police allege Smollett paid two men $3,500 to stage an attack on him last month.

Smollett had told police that on January 29 he was attacked by two people who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, tied a rope around his neck, and poured an unknown substance on him.

The incident prompted a flood of support for Smollett from all corners of Hollywood, including his "Empire" co-stars and producers.

Smollett has starred on Fox's "Empire" since 2015. He plays Jamal, a successful singer in the musical Lyon family. Like his character, Smollett is gay.

Smollett faces a felony charge of disorderly conduct over falsely claiming he was attacked, police say.

Under Illinois law, filing a false police report is disorderly conduct and punishable by one to three years in prison.

Smollett has maintained that he did not make the story up. His attorneys promised an "aggressive defense" in a statement issued after Cook County state's attorney's office approved a felony disorderly conduct charge against Smollett.

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked," his attorneys said.

After Smollett was arrested Thursday, the studio and network behind "Empire" said, "We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options."

Investigators believe Smollett orchestrated the attack in part, "because he was dissatisfied with his salary," Chicago police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said Thursday.

Smollett was released on $100,000 bond Thursday and ordered to give up his passport.

After his release, Smollett reported to the set of "Empire," where he apologized to the cast and crew for any embarrassment the allegations may have caused, a person at the meeting told CNN.

But he maintained his innocence in his speech to his co-workers, the person added.

Early Wednesday, before official charges had been made against Smollett, Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV stood by the actor, saying he continued "to be a consummate professional on set" and assuring that "he is not being written out of the show."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Two people were injured Friday night after an assault and shots fired incident in north Columbia, according to... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 11:14:00 AM CST December 14, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department completed a week-long training program on Friday, cumulating with a role-playing exercise to... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 5:05:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A winter storm is expected to bring snow and ice accumulation to Missouri followed by frigid temperatures. This... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 4:22:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department has a new chief. City Manager John Glascock says Andy Woody will be taking... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 3:50:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Missouri football coach Barry Odom is heading to Arkansas. New Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman confirmed... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 3:19:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia psychologist, Kurt Bumby, 50, is charged with two counts of statutory sodomy in Boone County and two... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 3:18:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
FULTON - Although legally blind, Fulton Special Olympics tennis player Jesse competes with enthusiasm in a high demanding sport for... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 2:21:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A proposed plan to expand the Jefferson City National Cemetery across the street and move a park... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 2:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
BOONVILLE - Shovels and salt will likely be in higher demand at local hardware stores after a forecasted weekend snow... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 12:55:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) — General Motors plans to invest $1.5 billion in truck production at a suburban St. Louis plant.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 12:24:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY- A 71-year-old woman was killed last night after her car struck a tree, according to the Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 11:35:00 AM CST December 13, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - A company from Illinois was brought in for the continued search for the body of Mengqi Ji... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 11:11:00 AM CST December 13, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- Columbia police arrested one man Thursday in connection with the December 9 homicide at Welcome Inn. According to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 9:51:00 AM CST December 13, 2019 in Top Stories
WASHINGTON, D.C.- The House Judiciary Committee has approved two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The charges now go... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 9:27:00 AM CST December 13, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The magic tree is a bit more magical on Friday. The Columbia tradition is being tailor-made for... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 3:50:00 AM CST December 13, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - School and city officials predict upwards of 10,000 people will visit Columbia this weekend for graduation ceremonies at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 3:27:00 AM CST December 13, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Crews searching for missing woman Mengqi Ji Elledge have cleared debris obstructing the search area and have... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 12 2019 Dec 12, 2019 Thursday, December 12, 2019 7:28:00 PM CST December 12, 2019 in News
MORGAN COUNTY -- A judge ruled the Garden of Health Clinic doesn't need a license to openate, ending a nearly... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 12 2019 Dec 12, 2019 Thursday, December 12, 2019 7:12:00 PM CST December 12, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
1pm 35°
2pm 36°
3pm 37°
4pm 35°