'Empire' Is Reportedly Reducing Jussie Smollett's Role Over Attack Scandal
Chicago police are now claiming the actor and singer staged his own attack.
According to TMZ, Smollett was supposed to have nine scenes and a big musical number in the second to last episode but five of those scenes, as well as the musical number, have been cut. The episode is currently being shot.
The report continues: “As for the remaining 4 scenes…we’re told he’s no longer the focus. The scene features an ensemble, meaning he’s flanked by a number of cast members.”
TMZ goes on to report that Smollett is no longer working on set every day this week and that writers for the show have been busy making edits to the script.
Smollett portrays Jamal Lyon on the TV series.
Smollett’s alleged attack has grown more and more complicated since it was first reported. After disputing the attack as a hoax, Chicago police now believe the actor staged his own attack after speaking with two brothers that claim Smollett hired them for the attack.
Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo were brought in on Wednesday as the lead suspects in the incident. After a round of interviewing and the threat of being charged with battery, the Osundairo brothers claimed that Smollet hired them to participate in the staged attack, paying them $4,000 for their assistance. They went on to paint a drastically differed picture of the incident, claiming to have bought the rope found on Smollett’s neck at a local hardware store and the red imitation MAGA hats at a beauty supply. They even rehearsed the attack a few days prior.
Smollett has yet to directly address the new developments, but is cooperating with CPD investigators in new rounds of interviews.