Jussie Smollet's Role in 'Empire' Slashed Amid Allegations of Staging Homophobic Attack
Actor Jussie Smollet, who had reported of being physically attacked by men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs in Chicago, is facing prison time if it turns out he lied about being the target of a hate crime.
Jussie Smollet. Image: Instagram
Actor Jussie Smollet's role in TV drama Empire has been slashed in the wake of the news that he staged his alleged homophobic attack.
Production sources told tmz.com that Smollet's five scenes have been cut in the second to last episode of the show. Smollet was supposed to have nine scenes but now he will have only four scenes. And there will be no proper focus on Smollet in the remaining scenes. The scenes will feature an ensemble cast.
Due to Smollet's case, the script has also undergone multiple revisions. Smollett plays the character Jamal Lyon, a member of the family that is the focus of the show.
Last month, Smollet reported to the police that he was attacked by men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs and physically assaulted him in Chicago. The actor and singer was reportedly in Chicago for a scheduled Saturday concert.
The attackers had poured "an unknown chemical substance" on him, and then wrapped a rope around the actor's neck, according to police.
Following an investigation, two brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo were arrested by the police who viewed them as "potential suspects", but they were released later due to lack of evidence. It was later reported that Smollet had staged the attack.
Smollettâ€™s co-stars and colleagues on Empire, celebrities such as Ellen Page and Zendaya, and public figures such as Senator Kamala Harris rallied behind the actor, releasing statements of support. However, Smollettâ€™s account is now being challenged, with police investigating whether or not he paid the two acquaintances to stage the attack, reported Variety.com.
Smollet's case will now be presented before the grand jury.
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