HOLLYWOOD—Jussie Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyons has been written out of the final episodes of the fifth season of the FOX series “Empire.” After weeks of investigating, the Chicago Police Department revealed during a press conference on Thursday, February 21, that the alleged assault was a hoax made up by the actor.
FOX released a statement from show creators, writers, and producers indicating news Smollet’s character being written out of the final two episodes of the season.
According to reports, a majority of cast members expressed betrayal by new evidence in the case indicating Smollett’s actions could damage the show’s reputation.
Smollett, 36, was indicted Wednesday, February 20 for felony and disorderly conduct, after filing a false police report to Chicago Police Department. He has been released from custody on a $100,000 bond.
The Chicago Police Department Superintendent spokesperson, Anthony Guglielmi expressed Thursday his outrage to reporters, “The staged attack was choreographed by an actor because of dissatisfaction his with salary.”
He went on to comment Smollett manipulated the pain of African Americans, and the LGBT community by using weapons like a noose and racial homophobic slurs to further his career.
If convicted, the actor could face up to three years in federal prison. Authorities revealed that Jussie paid $3500 to both Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, two brother from Nigeria who appeared as extras on the show, to stage the attack.
Last week, both brothers were released after authorities received new evidence in the case, that shifted the course of the case.
On January 29, Smollett reported to the CPD that he was assaulted by two white men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him, before fleeing the scene shouting “This is MAGA County.” He stated his attackers poured bleach on him and tied a noose areound his neck.
Members of the “Empire” cast informed TMZ, the Osundairo brothers could not be alleged assailants in the case stating, “They have been on the show for years as extras with a close relationship to Smollett.”
Smollett has remained his innocence in the case.