Charlie Collier, FOX CEO, during Fox’s Television Critics Association tour on Wednesday, August 7 confirmed that the 37-year-old actor won’t return for the show’s final season.
”In case like this, you try to get all the information and make a good decision,” Collier explained. “[Creator Lee Daniels] is right, there’s no plans for Jussie to return to Empire … typically it’s about gathering right info and making sure we’re making the right decisions.”
Empire which debuted in 2015, had Smollett play musician Jamal Lyon. Smollett was indicted in March with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report claiming two Nigerian brothers, Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo attacked him in an alleged homophobic and racist hate crime in Chicago.
The Empire star was accused of faking a hate crime and that he paid the Osundairo brothers $3,500 to stage the attack.
The charges against Smollett were suddenly dropped at the end of March after he pleaded not guilty to allegations that he lied to police.
The City of Chicago has ordered him to pay $130,000 to cover the cost of working the case, but Smollett still maintains his innocence and has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the City of Chicago.