Actor Jussie Smollet career may be in jeopardy after allegations that he may have planned his own attack.
The 36-year-old who has referred to himself as the “gay Tupac” is currently engulfed in controversy surrounding the alleged homophobic attack on him that many now believe was a hoax orchestrated by the man himself. A new report by Ebony now indicates the Empire star’s role on the show has been drastically cut in the wake of those accusations.
Jussie’s character on the FOX drama hit show Jamal Lyon was set to appear in nine scenes and a big musical number in the second to last episode of Season Five, which is currently being shot. Five of the scenes and his performance have reportedly been cut. As for the remaining four scenes, he will no longer be the main focus.
The actor and musician’s shooting schedule has reportedly been reduced from five to two days a week, and he’ll also be skipping rehearsals with the cast.
As reported by The Sauce brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo were arrested in connection to the alleged attack but have since been released because it is now believed that Smollett paid the brothers to orchestrate the assault.
Smollett denies playing a role in his attack, according to a statement from his attorneys. He had earlier claimed that he was attacked early January 29th, 2019 by two men who yelled “racial and homophobic slurs.” Smollett alleged that one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him before running away.
Chicago police have a few choice words as the investigations revealed the attack was all orchestrated. According to Variety, If Smollett falsified a police report, the charge is a Class 4 felony in Illinois and carries a potential sentence of one to three years in prison. Smollett could also be ordered to pay restitution to compensate for the cost of the Chicago Police Department investigation.
“It’s a very, very, very serious situation,” said Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor who now works in criminal defense in Chicago. “He’s got some very significant exposure.”