- Jussie Smollett has reportedly been cut from scenes of Fox’s “Empire” that are scheduled to be filmed in Chicago this week, according to Deadline and TMZ.
- The actor will not be cut entirely from the show, a representative for 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment told INSIDER.
- Smollett has alleged that he was assaulted by two men in a racist and homophobic attack in late January.
- On Saturday, sources from the Chicago police investigation said that they had reason to believe that Smollett may have paid the men to stage the assault, CNN reported.
- Smollett has denied the claims that he orchestrated the attack.
Smollett has been cut from five of nine scenes as well as a musical number, sources told TMZ. The Fox hit is currently filming in Chicago.
The actor will not be cut entirely from the show, a representative for the network told INSIDER.
“Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” a spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment told INSIDER.
This news comes as police continue to investigate whether Smollett himself was involved in staging a late January assault to make it appear to be a racist and homophobic hate crime, as CNN reported Saturday. Sources told CNN that Chicago Police believe Smollett may have paid two men to stage the attack.
At the time, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told INSIDER that investigators had requested another interview with Smollett after the emergence of the new information.
“There are some developments in the investigation, and we are now interested in speaking to the ‘Empire’ cast member again,” Guglielmi said.
Smollett’s lawyers, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, denied reports that Smollett orchestrated the attack.
The 36-year-old actor said that on January 29, the attackers put a noose around his neck, chanted Trump slogans, poured bleach on him, and used racist and homophobic slurs.
Smollett’s attorneys released a statement Saturday night, saying Smollett was being “further victimized” by accusations that he orchestrated the attack.
“Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,” attorneys Pugh and Henderson said. “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.”
UPDATE: February 20, 2019: This post was updated to include a statement from 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment.
- Read more:
- Jussie Smollett says doubters would have believed he was assaulted if he had said the attackers were Muslim, Mexican, or black
- People are criticising Jussie Smollett following reports that he may have staged his alleged attack
- Nancy Pelosi deleted a tweet supporting Jussie Smollett after reports that he may have staged his assault
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.