Jussie Smollett’s “Empire” Career Is Crumbling Fast over Alleged Attack

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett

(Photo credit: Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Chuck Hodes)

Jussie Smollet’s career is in a tailspin. Chicago authorities now admit that yes, they’re examining the possibility that the alleged attack he suffered might have been staged.

The latest revelations include a tip under investigation this afternoon. Local police are trying to determine whether Smollett was actually in the company of his alleged assailants on January 29, the evening he was supposedly doused with an unknown chemical substance and had a noose put around his neck.

Evidently the informant is either someone who lives in the building where Smollett is staying in Chicago, or was visiting a resident and saw the trio together before the alleged incident took place.

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That would be problematic for the Empire actor, since he later positively identified the duo he said attacked him from watching a surveillance video of them in the vicinity.

Just yesterday, ABC news was told by a local law enforcement official up to date on the investigation’s progress that the alleged assailants told police Smollett staged the attack on himself. According to the official, the actor’s move was prompted by “a threatening letter he received a week prior” that generated too little attention from media or law enforcement.

Officials now say that they’re interested in interviewing Smollett again, and the actor’s attorneys are now actively in conversations. Meanwhile the duo accused in the attack, who are brothers, maintain that they were actually paid for their participation. In a joint statement, the pair maintain that they were merely stooges in the entire fiasco.

“We are not racist,” said the joint release. “We are not homophobic and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens.”

Compounding Smollett’s problems are new and unconfirmed reports that the actor’s scenes on Empire have been drastically cut as the controversy is quickly turning into quicksand across the strata of social media.

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Last modified: February 21, 2019