Jussie Smollett won’t be returning for the final episode of Empire

Jussie Smollett won’t be returning for the final episode of Empire, Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn has confirmed.

The actor played Jamal Lyon on the program but was written out of the final two episodes of season five after being arrested amid claims he filed a false police report alleging he was the victim of a hate crime.

Jussie Smollett won’t be returning for the final episode of Empire

The series will be coming to an end after the sixth and final season concludes later this year (2020), with showrunner Brett Mahoney previously telling TV Line that Jussie’s potential return was “being discussed”.

However, in a new chat with the publication, Thorn revealed the actor won’t be returning for one last appearance after all.

“We’re not going to bring Jussie back to the show,” he said. “There were a number of factors that went into the decision to not bring him back. There were many points of view about if he should come back or if he shouldn’t. As hard as a decision as that was, for us… it felt like it was in the best interests of the show and the cast.”

He added of the controversy surrounding the star: “Our hope is that all of the controversy surrounding Jussie doesn’t overshadow the show, which we think is bigger than him.”

A judge reportedly ordered Google to surrender all of Jussie Smollett's email, photos, and location data from a full year.

The saga of Jussie Smollett has taken a new turn after a Circuit Court Judge ordered Google to surrender all of the "Empire" actor's personal data dated from November 2018 to November 2019 including all of his emails, location data, personal photos, and documents stored in Google Drive, according to the Chicago Tribune.

But Smollett eventually turned from victim to suspect after an intense investigation by Chicago police detectives who used two brothers’ cellphone records, internet search history and text messages to corroborate their story that the actor paid them $3,500 to stage the attack.

Prosecutors alleged that Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with the “Empire” studio’s response to a threatening letter he received at work a week earlier. Chicago police took it a step further, accusing Smollett of faking the letter as well.

But just a few weeks after indicting Smollett on 16 counts of disorderly conduct, Foxx’s office made the stunning announcement that all the charges had been dropped with little explanation at an unannounced court hearing.

Smollett’s attorneys have painted the brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who are of Nigerian descent, as homophobic liars who carried out a real attack on Smollett with the help of an as-yet unidentified white co-conspirator. They have long alleged that the brothers’ attorney fed them a fabricated story to tell cops in order to avoid charges.

The whole episode has been costly for Smollett. He now faces a lawsuit from the city of Chicago seeking to recoup $130,000 in police overtime costs for investigating the incident, and the Osundairos have sued Smollett’s attorneys for defamation. Smollett, who reportedly won’t return to his role for the final season of the Fox series “Empire,” filed a counterclaim against the city, saying he was the victim of a malicious prosecution that caused humiliation and extreme distress.

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