'Empire' Reportedly Cuts Down Jussie Smollett's Scenes Amid Attack Hoax Speculation

Empire writers are scrambling to make last minute changes to the series' most recent season after star Jussie Smollett allegedly staged an attack on himself.

According to TMZ, Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, was suppose to appear in nine upcoming scenes, along with a big musical number in the second to last episode, which is currently being shot. However, his scenes have been reduced to four—where he will not longer be the main focus of—and the musical number is gone completely.

As a result, Smollett will only be working one or two days this week instead of every day like before.

As for the writers, they've been working in overtime making edits and multiple revisions to work around the scenario.

The actor's case will now head to a grand jury with a focus of presenting evidence that could lead to a felony indictment against him.

Last month, Smollett claimed two masked men attacked him with racial and homophobic slurs, beat him, poured an unknown substance on him that may have been bleach, then proceeded to tie a rope around his neck. A week later, the actor spoke out about the riveted experience. Not long after that, law enforcement told news outlets that Smollett paid two brothers $3,500 to carry out the attack. The brothers reportedly admitted they rehearsed the situation "days" before it happened and bought the rope to tie around Smollett's neck.

The Chicago Police Department has requested an interview with Smollett, but the actor has since declined.

As the story develops, the Chicago P.D. is reportedly investigating a tip that the Empire star was inside an elevator with the men who attacked him just before making the 911 call. A spokesperson for the department said a person who either lives in the apartment building or visiting someone there reportedly witnessed Smollett and the two brothers together.

Smollett's legal team insists on denying all claims that announce him as anything other than the victim.

"Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying," attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said in a statement.

Several of his fellow cast members from the Fox series were quick to make statements defending their friend after initial reports of the attack came out.

0comments

Whether he'll be written off the show is still up in the air but the show's cocreator announced a week ago that their intentions are to keep him.

"There is 0 percent truth that [Smollett] was going to be written off of Empire," Danny Strong announced in a tweet. "This rumor is totally false. He is the third lead and one of the most beloved characters on the show. Writing him off the show has NEVER even been discussed."