Things were all good for Jussie Smollett after he released his long-awaited debut album called “Sum of My Music” last summer.
The Empire star had also finished directing an episode of the hit FOX series and appeared in the EPIX docu-series, America Divided.
Before the release of his album, Smollett told FADER: "I'm not gonna lie and pretend otherwise, I want this [ish] to do well, If I didn't, I would just play it for my mother because she [f-ing] loves it or I would just try and pitch the songs for Empire. But no...these songs really mean something to me and I want people to hear me."
Welp Jussie… all ears are tuned your way as questions mount up about the alleged racist and homophobic attack that he was a victim of last month.
If you remember, the actor/musician told authorities that two white men yelled out “racial and homophobic slurs” while beating him up and pouring an unknown chemical substance on him in the wee hours of Tuesday, January 29th.
According to TMZ, multiple law enforcement sources with full knowledge of the investigation say the Chicago Police Department believe the Empire star staged the whole thing and paid two Nigerian brothers to attack him.
TMZ adds that a grand jury will begin hearing evidence this week that could result in felony charges against Smollett. He could be charged with filing a false police report.
As things continue to unravel against Jussie, it turns out he may have more free time from his day job.
New reports from TMZ say his scenes from Empire have been “drastically cut” amid the controversy from the alleged hate crime.
The tabloid site says Smollett was supposed to have nine scenes and a big musical performance in the second-to-last episode of Season 5 but five scenes and the musical number have been axed.
Smollett’s character, gay singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon, will no longer be the focus of his remaining four scenes, which will now feature an ensemble of characters.
The 36-year-old actor is spending far less time on as he’ll be working Friday (and possibly Thursday) but won’t be rehearsing. The Empire production team has been scrambling to revise this season’s scripts.
In a statement from his attorneys, Smollett has denied staging the attack.
"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," the statement read. "He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."
We’ll keep you updated on the latest on Jussie Smollett’s situation as it unravels.