Jussie Smollett thrown out of ‘Empire’ for staging homophobic attack
American actor Jussie Smollett who stars in the hit TV show Empire has been kicked out of the show.
The actor was earlier this week charged with allegedly staging a racially-motivated and homophobic attack on himself.
The 36-year-old African-American actor is accused of filing a fake police report claiming he was the victim of a homophobic and racist assault.
Police say he staged the attack because he was “dissatisfied” with his salary. He turned himself in and was arrested in Chicago on Thursday.
As a result he will be written out of the show following his sensational arrest.
The actor, who plays Jamal in the series, was on Friday released from jail after posting Sh10 million ($100,000) in bail.
20th Century Fox TV released a statement on Twitter saying the past few weeks had been “incredibly emotional” for the team.
They called allegations that Smollett had falsely claimed he was the victim of a hate crime “disturbing”.
The TV executives revealed that they’ve taken the decision to remove his character from the final two episodes of the fifth season, which is currently airing.
If found guilty of the class 4 felony, Jussie faces a prison sentence of between one to three years but could also receive probation.
Jussie said he had been attacked by two masked men in downtown Chicago on January 29, telling police his attackers shouted racist and homophobic abuse and tied a noose around his neck.
However, Chicago police allege that the attack was a hoax orchestrated by the actor as he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on Fox network drama Empire.
They claim he hired two brothers, who are black, to help stage a “phony attack” on him last month, but that his plan was thwarted because the surveillance camera was not faced in the right direction to capture the beating.