“Empire” will return to TV for a sixth season next year, but Jussie Smollett will not be joining his co-stars.
Weeks after Smollett was let off the hook by Chicago prosecutors, FOX announced in a statement that there are no plans to bring back Smollett’s character.
"By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for season 6,” FOX said in a statement, “but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to ‘Empire.'"
TMZ previously reported that Smollett had “lunch meetings” with “Empire” executives, but he clearly wasn’t able to convince them not to fire him.
“Here's the loose end ... by picking up/extending Jussie's option, it would seem they have to pay him something per the contract,” TMZ reported. “After all, he couldn't really accept another gig if he could be called back to ‘Empire.’ So, is Jussie getting paid for not working on the show?”
Not only is Smollett now out of a job, but he has been sued in civil court by the city of Chicago for the money he caused police to waste investigating his fake hate crime.
Further, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx "has been subpoenaed to appear in court as a lawyer seeks the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case," according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The report added: "Retired appellate judge Sheila O’Brien, who filed the petition for a special prosecutor, also filed a subpoena for Foxx’s top deputy, Joseph Magats, and another document requesting Jussie Smollett appear at the hearing."
Foxx is under scrutiny for her handling of the case. Leaked text messages show she communicated with Michelle Obama's former chief of staff prior to letting Smollett skate in the case.