'Empire' Star Taraji P. Henson Reveals Jussie Smollett Will Not Be Fired From Fox Series

Taraji P. Henson is sure Jussie Smollett will return to Empire should it be renewed for Season 6.

The actress, who leads the cast in the role of Cookie Lyon, spoke about her co-star and his future on the show after he was written out of the final episodes of Season 5 during an appearance on The View Thursday.

"I talk to Jussie all the time, and he's doing well. We're all doing well," Henson said. "The show is doing well. We're on hiatus right now. The writers are trying to figure out what the next season is going to look like, what our storyline is going to be. They're trying to drum up some really good juicy stuff for you guys."

While the musical drama series has not been officially renewed at Fox, Henson believes Smollett will be back if it is.

"Yes, I haven't heard anything else," she said at the time, as first reported by Us Weekly.

Smollett was previously indicted with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report and claiming he was the victim of a hate crime back in January. In February, the actor was suspended from the series and written out of the final two episodes of Season 5 to avoid further disruptions to filming.

The case took a drastic turn on March 26 after all charges against him were dropped.

After the announcement, Henson opened up about her continued support for her co-star and on-screen son.

"When I know someone, there's nothing you can say to make me flip on them, and that's what we miss in this world. We need people that stand by us. Whatever happened to that? Why are we so easy to believe strangers over people we know?" She told USA Today.

"I'm not going to jump on clickbait just because someone says something derogatory about a person I know and love. I'm not easily swayed like that. Those little clickbait [reports] weren’t enough to deter me from his immaculate track record. I know the type of activism this young man does in his community, I know that he’s a giver – he’s not an attention-seeker," she added.

The actress also reflected on how this difficult chapter is further evidence the world must believe victims.


"That's why a lot of people, especially females, feel like they can’t come forward saying they've been raped. I believe that's why we have a whole #MeToo movement, because women have felt they couldn't come forward because they'd be criminalized in some way," she told the outlet. "Movements don't just come out of the sky – movements happen because they’re needed. You have a group of people who haven't been heard."

Despite the charges being dropped, Chicago authorities continue to speak publicly about Smollett's guilt. Empire airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.