Jussie Smollett Unlikely to Return to ‘Empire’

Jussie Smollett Unlikely to Return to ‘Empire’

"Empire" has been renewed for its sixth season, but don't expect to see Jussie Smollett on the Fox drama - at least not anytime soon. He was eventually indicted for disorderly conduct, but all charges against Smollett were controversially dropped.

Chicago police accused Smollett of making up an attack against him, but the actor maintained his innocence and prosecutors dismissed criminal charges against him.

Empire will return for a sixth season, but Jussie Smollett's character Jamal Lyon won't feature in it even though the actor's contract was extended. "Most importantly, he is grateful to Fox and "Empire" leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support", a spokesperson for Smollett said in a statement.

Smollett's team confirmed the news in a statement to ABC News late Tuesday.

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In the world of "Empire", last week's episode saw the marriage of Smollett's character Jamal to his boyfriend Kai (Toby Onwumere), a ceremony that culminated with Kai telling those gathered for the celebration that he is HIV positive. The production does, however, hold an option on Smollett's contract, so it's possible he could return later in the season.

On Tuesday, Fox announced a season 6 renewal for Empire.

Smollett reported receiving a threatening letter at Cinespace in January, days before his alleged attack.

Unfortunately for Smollett, the Chicago police were determined to find the perpetrators, and did in the person of Abe and Ola Osundairo, two brothers who are black, and...

Though "Empire" is set in NY, the series has always filmed in Chicago.

On April 11, the City of Chicago filed a $130,000 lawsuit against the 36-year-old actor in order to recoup the cost of the police investigation.

The brothers' attorneys acknowledged they took part in the hoax, but said they apologized and only did so because Smollett paid them. Season 5 of "Empire" will close next Wednesday night with a season finale entitled "The Roughest Day".

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