Jussie Smollett is still experiencing fallout after being accused of staging a hate crime, even though all charges have been dropped. Now it is being reported that has character on “Empire,” Jamal Lyon, will not return for next season. Nonetheless, Smollett’s contract has been extended.
Fox said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight, “By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to ‘Empire.’”
Smollett’s personal rep told ET, “We’ve been told that Jussie will not be on Empire in the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open. Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support!”
The battle is not over for Smollett. Th Osundairo brothers have filed a lawsuit and complained that Smollett’s Los Angeles-based celebrity attorney Mark Geragos made them “feel unsafe and alienated in their local Chicago community.”
Reportedly, sources close to the brothers who go by Abel and Ola claimed they have not been able to land an agent since the Smollett case went public.
In addition, their fitness training business was skyrocketing but the lawsuit said “many of their potential clients turned out to be feigning interest in getting in shape and were really looking to get details on Jussie’s case.”
Geragos and his co-counsel downplayed the lawsuit.
“This so-called lawsuit by the brothers is more of their lawyer driven nonsense, and a desperate attempt for them to stay relevant and further profit from an attack they admit they perpetrated,” they said in a statement released Tuesday.
On Jan. 29, while walking to a subway, Smollett claimed two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, investigators told The Hollywood Reporter. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
The city of Chicago is now suing Smollett for a half a million dollars. Kim Foxx, the Cook County State Attorney, has been attacked by the Chicago Police and is calling for a probe into the 16 felony counts being dropped. She has also said she is receiving death threats.
Smollett has maintained his innocence.