While fans likely thought it would never happen, Empire actress Vivica A. Fox recently hinted at the potential for Jussie Smollett to cameo on the show's final season. Fox plays Candace Mason — the aunt of Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon — on Empire, and during a recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, she opened up about how "tough" it was to see Smollett be dropped from the series after being alleged by Chicago police of falsifying a police report and lying about being assaulted. "He's family. He's always gonna be family. Love him to death, but there was just too much drama surrounding the circumstances," she said, then going on to say that "of course" she has stayed in touch with Smollett.
Next, she dropped the implication that Smollett could possibly return to the show, saying, "I love him. And who knows? Don't count him out. Y'all may see him."
Cohen asked if she meant that he would turn up again "on Empire," to which Fox flashed a smirk, implying that she might know something others don't.
After Smollett's widely-reported-on incident earlier this year, he was written out of the last two episodes of Empire Season 5. It was later announced that he would not be returning to the show.
Notably, all the charges against Smollett were dropped — another move that has been very controversial — though the court still slapped him with community service and financial restitution fees.
Following the dropped charges, Smollett's attorney's released a statement, saying, "Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by 2 people he was unable to identify on January 29th."
"He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public, causing an inappropriate rush to judgment," the statement continued.
"Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result," the statement concluded.
At this time, Empire creator Lee Daniels has not issued any official word regarding the possibility that Smollett may return.