Jussie Smollett Returns To Empire Set After Arrest

click image to enlarge
February 21, 2019 | 9:10pm EST

Actor Jussie Smollett has returned to work on the set of Empire following his release on bail for allegedly filing a false police report.
The 36 year old spent the early hours of Thursday (21Feb19) in jail after he was charged with two felony counts, including disorderly conduct, for purportedly lying about being the victim of a brutal hate crime outside his Chicago, Illinois apartment building on 29 January (19).
His bail was set at $100,000 , which was posted shortly after his bond hearing, and after walking free from jail, he headed back to work on his hit hip-hop drama, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Show bosses at TV network Fox, who are currently in the middle of filming the penultimate episode of season five, initially expressed their support for Smollett, but in the wake of his arrest, have revealed they are “evaluating the situation” and “considering our options” regarding his future on the show.
Meanwhile, the legal drama has prompted producers behind rap-battle series Drop the Mic to pull a planned episode featuring Smollett.
His appearance on the show had been due to air on 6 March (19), but network officials at TNT have since scrapped the broadcast, which would have seen Smollett face off with former American Idol star Clay Aiken.
Executive producer Jensen Carp shared the news of the change of plans on Twitter on Thursday, writing, “We had an episode of Drop The Mic this season with Jussie that you’ll now (correctly) never see, but sadly it will shelve @clayaiken, WHO WAS A VERY GOOD RAPPER (at least for now)”.
Smollett’s lawyers have maintained their client’s innocence, vowing to fight the charges and clear his name after prosecutors claimed the actor/singer staged the hoax attack because he wanted to promote his career after becoming “dissatisfied with his salary” on Empire.
He is said to have paid brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo $3,500 to pull off the beating. They ended up exposing the alleged ploy to police after they were questioned as “potential suspects” last week (ends15Feb19), and are now helping cops build their case against Smollett after being released without charge.
If convicted, Smollett faces up to three years behind bars.