Fox Denies Jussie Smollett Was Being Written Off ‘Empire’ Amid Staged Attack Report


On Thursday, reports began to spread that Jussie Smollett had staged his attack which occurred in Chicago last month.

Word began to spread that Chicago police were reportedly investigating claims that the Empire actor worked with the two men currently being questioned as persons of interest. CBS Chicago’s Brad Edwards revealed a source told him that “indicators point to Smollett orchestrating the event” and police “believe the non-cooperating 2 witnesses are co-conspirators in a potentially staged attack.”

Meanwhile, ABC7 in Chicago’s Rob Elgas reported that “multiple sources” say police are looking into the possibility that “Smollett and the two men staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of Empire.”

A rep for the Chicago PD released a statement detailing how any theories of Smollett’s participation in the attack are “unconfirmed. It read: “Media reports about the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate.”

And Fox was quick to shut down the misinformation. “The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of Empire is patently ridiculous. He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him,” a rep from Fox Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, and the producers of Empire said in a statement.

This new development comes less than one day after Smollett spoke with Good Morning American in his first sit-down interview since the assault. He detailed what happened that early morning, how the two men beat him, why he believes it’s a hate crime, and finally spoke out against doubters who believe he’s lying.

“I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate,” the 36-year-old actor said. “And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more. And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now.”

Smollett said the rumors of him lying are “ridiculous.”

“I’ve heard that it was a date gone bad, which I also resent that narrative,” he added. “I’m not gonna go out and get a tuna sandwich and a salad to meet somebody. That’s ridiculous. And it’s offensive.”

The latest update from the CPD reads: