Jussie Smollett Dropped From Remainder Of ‘Empire’s Season By Producers

The announcement Friday comes after Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. They released images depicting two figures facing away from the camera and walking along a snowy street between 1:30 and 1:45 a.m. on January 29. He signed the statement, "With Love, respect & honor".

February 13: Two men were quietly taken into police custody after landing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport from Nigeria.

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked", Smollett's lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, told ET at the time.

Even without actual footage, police were able to identify two "persons of interest" and track down the brothers through cabs and rideshares they took afterward, police Cmdr.

February 16: Guglielmi issued a statement claiming the information gleaned from the February 15 interviews had "shifted the trajectory of the investigation".

The revelations necessary to charge Smollett came during the 47th hour of a 48-hour holding period for the two men, who eventually confessed to the alleged plot, Johnson said.

Smollett and his legal team are gearing up to launch an "aggressive defense", according to his attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson.

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The move came a day after the 36-year-old was charged with lying to Chicago police about the allegedly staged incident, in which he said two masked men beat him and slung a noose around his neck while yelling racist and homophobic abuse.

While Smollett is now facing one felony count of disorderly conduct, he may face additional charges as the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating a hate threat sent to Smollett one week prior to the alleged attack. If he's convicted, he could face up to three years in prison. Fox officials released a statement after Smollett's arrest that they were "evaluating the situation and. considering our options", and sources say those options include keeping Smollett's character in the script for the season five finale or writing him out of it.

Trump tagged Smollett in a tweet that read, "what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and risky comments!?"

Facing a barrage of criticism from openly "pissed" off law enforcement officials, prosecutors and TV talking heads, Smollett was released on $100,000 bail and had his passport revoked during the downtown Chicago court appearance Thursday.

Smollett is due back in court March 14 when he is expected to enter his plea.

20th Century Fox Television executive VP of corporate communications and publicity, Chris Alexander, confirmed that Smollett was on set filming on Thursday.

  • Michelle Webb