The odds do not seem to be in Jussie Smollet’s favor.
After being indicted on 16 counts for allegedly filing a false police report, the fate of Smollett’s standing on the Fox drama Empire has been the subject of speculation among many critics. The Fox musical drama is set to premiere the final half of its fifth season this week.
With word that Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon, would not be appearing in the final two episodes of the season, sources have told Variety that it is possible the middle child of Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) will be either killed off or the role will be recast with another actor.
Smollett was indicted for filing a false report in Chicago. The actor and musician alleged that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two men in Chicago in the early hours of January 29. Smollett alleges that the two men beat him, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck while shouting “MAGA country.”
However, the Chicago Police Department alleges that Smollett hired brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo to help him stage the attack over dissatisfaction with his salary on Empire.