Subscribe To Empire Has No Plans To Write Off Jussie Smollett, Fox Blasts 'Patently Ridiculous' Rumor Updates
Jussie Smollett has played Jamal Lyon, middle son in the Lyon family, since Empire Season 1 in 2015. 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment issued a statement make it clear the network is standing by Smollett (via Deadline):
Empire co-creator Danny Strong also addressed the rumor, via Twitter:
The Empire Writers account also weighed in on Twitter, since the rumor had suggested they were the ones planning to write off the character of Jamal Lyon:
ABC 7 Chicago had reported that police were investigating whether Jussie Smollett staged the January 29 attack with help of two other men.
Anthony Guglielmi, Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Police, responded by saying any media reports about the Empire incident being a hoax were unconfirmed by case detectives. He said they contacted ABC 7 to state on the record that they had "no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate."
The Chicago Police rep clarified that detectives had identified the people of interest in the area of the alleged attack, but those people weren't considered suspects at this point. They were just being questioned by detectives. Since the investigation is ongoing, he added this note:
Jussie Smollett said he was attacked on January 29 in Chicago. He said two men in ski masks addressed him with racist and homophobic slurs, then physically attacked him by pouring liquid on him and putting a noose around his neck.
Empire is currently in the middle of airing Season 5. The huge midseason finale, Episode 9, aired in December 2018. Season 5 is scheduled to return March 13 on Fox, and the season will reportedly have 18 episodes in total. Keep up with all the relevant dates in our handy 2019 midseason premiere calendar.