• Jussie Smollett Gives First Interview Since Feb 2019: ‘It’s Been Difficult to Be So Quiet’ (Video)

    In his first interview in nearly two years, Jussie Smollett spoke to journalist Marc Lamont Hill about a wife range of issues connected directly, and tangentially, to his ongoing legal battle in Chicago. But while he was careful to be clear that he won’t speak about the specifics of that case — “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys” — he did say that he isn’t sure “what staying quiet has really done.”“It’s been beyond frustrating because to be somebody that’s so outspoken … it’s been difficult to be so quiet. To not be able to say all of the things that you want to say, to not be able to yell from the rooftop,” he told Hill in the interview, which was posted to Hill’s Instagram on Wednesday night. “Because, I don’t think people realize that I’ve just been wrapped up in some form of a case for the last, approaching, in just a couple of months approaching two years. It’s been beyond frustrating. I’m certainly not going rogue. I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that. But I just don’t see honestly what staying quiet has really done. Where it has gotten me.”Frequently challenged by Hill about the details of the case and his story of what happened, Smollett largely avoided specifics as promised, but he did say he feels unlikely that he’ll prevail in his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Thursday. “They won’t let this go. It doesn’t matter. There is an example being made. And the sad thing is that there’s an example being made of someone that did not do what they’re being accused of,” he said.Also Read: Jussie Smollett Investigation Marked by 'Substantial Abuses of Discretion,' Special Prosecutor SaysHill brought up the fact that Chicago police say they were unable to find evidence of any hate crime from the 2019 incident Smollett is accused of faking. “They couldn’t find anybody that fit the description that you gave them. And that was one of the first things that made the public say, ‘Hey wait a minute, maybe this isn’t true,” Hill noted.“I would say, and again I have to be careful what I say because I’m still in a court case, but at the same time, it’s out there. There’s also two other witnesses that saw white men. That saw exactly what I say that I saw,” Smollett responded.He said his version of the story was overshadowed by “lies” that were “shouted from the rooftops,” and that nothing which corroborated his story was widely publicized. Smollet also said that video footage exists of the incident as he says it happened. “But of course, it cuts off right before it happens,” he said.Hill noted that how that cutoff could seem “awfully convenient” to a lot of people. “I certainly didn’t have the power to cut the tape, so who cut the tape?” Smollett responded, a possible reference to numerous instances in which Chicago Police have been caught destroying or dishonestly editing video evidence. “I’m in a case,” Smollett continued, “so y’all gotta do the detective work.”Also Read: Jussie Smollett Emerges From His Own Self-Imposed Isolation to Sing Us a Song (Video)Smollett did call out former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who he said “really has no place” in government, specifically for the unusual decision to sue Smollett to recoup overtime costs for officers investigating the case.At one point, Hill asked Smollett what he would say to people who think he did pull a hoax as he’s accused. To that, Smollet said: “I’m a human being like everybody else. I ingest the media and I read the headlines and all that type of stuff. And I’ve been guilty of taking things at face value as well. But when you see that happening, and they talking about you. You know it’s not true. Somehow it becomes different.”“So on one hand, when I step back, I can see the way that they played the narrative, the way that they served it to people. That it was intentionally created to make people doubt from the very very beginning. But at the same time, I’m not really living for the people that don’t believe, because of the fact that I don’t know what to say. I can’t take that on,” he added.There’s a lot more. Watch the whole video — the Smollett interview kicks in at the halfway mark.View this post on Instagram Marc Lamont Hill sits down with Jussie Smollett to discuss his case, police corruption, BLM, and more. First, activists Aislinn Pulley and Angela Davis offer critical insights on the history of policing, abolition, and the broader implications of the Smollett case.A post shared by Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) on Sep 9, 2020 at 7:18pm PDTRead original story Jussie Smollett Gives First Interview Since Feb 2019: ‘It’s Been Difficult to Be So Quiet’ (Video) At TheWrap

  • 'Empire' actor Bryshere Gray arrested on domestic violence charges

    Police in Goodyear, Ariz., said they responded to a 911 call about a woman who’d been beaten at her home by her husband on Sunday night.

  • 'Empire' fans blame the coronavirus for show's disappointing series finale

    Fans are mad about the last-minute finale, which was thrown together after the season was cut short due to the coronavirus.

  • 'Empire' Final Season to End Early, Proper Series Finale Scrapped

    Empire's proper series finale will never see the light of day. Fox announced late Tuesday in an on-air promo that the show's 20-episode sixth and final season will conclude on April 21, with Episode 18 now serving as the show's swan song. As we previously reported, work on Empire ground to a halt last month […]

  • Wendy Williams says Jussie Smollett's career is over after alleged hate crime hoax: 'He'll never work again'

    Wendy Williams weighed in on the latest updates in the Jussie Smollett case, saying the actor will "never work again."

  • Jussie Smollett's Empire Return: Fox Boss Says It's Not Happening

    The question surrounding Jussie Smollett's potential return to Empire for the Fox drama's series finale this May can now be definitively answered. "We're not going to bring Jussie back to the show," Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn tells TVLine. "There were a number of factors that went into the decision to not bring him back. There were many […]

  • 'Empire' Boss Eyeing Jussie Smollett for Possible Finale Comeback: 'It Would Be Weird to End the Show Without Him'

    Empire may be getting the band back together for one final encore. Showrunner Brett Mahoney tells TVLine that discussions are underway to possibly have embattled former cast member Jussie Smollett return as Jamal before the show wraps its six-season run this spring. "It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this […]

  • Jussie Smollett insists he didn't stage hate crime attack: 'I haven't lied about a thing'

    The "Empire" actor took to the social media comments on a different story to maintain his innocence against claims he staged a hate crime against himself in January. "My story has actually never changed," he said.

  • 'Empire' cast and crew still emotional about Jussie Smollett's absence: 'It is disappointing not having him here'

    "I think there is a great deal of affection for him and it is disappointing not having him there," Danny Strong, co-creator of Empire, said.

  • Taraji P. Henson Says the Cast of Empire Misses Jussie Smollett: 'He's Family to Us'

    Emmys 2019: Taraji P. Henson Says the Cast of Empire Misses Jussie Smollett

  • ‘Empire’ Co-Creator Lee Daniels Denies Report Jussie Smollett May Return for Final Season

    “Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels denied a report Tuesday that Jussie Smollett is in talks to return for the final season of the Fox drama.“This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire,” Daniels tweeted in response to a Variety story, which first reported the news of Smollett’s potential return.Following Variety’s initial story, multiple individuals familiar with the situation subsequently told TheWrap that Smollett was in early talks to make a return to “Empire.”The show’s writers have already begun developing story ideas to potentially bring back Smollett’s character, Jamal, for the sixth and final season, though the situation was described by one individual as “very premature.”Also Read: Summer TV Premiere Dates: Here's Every New and Returning Show (Photos)Discussions about Smollett’s possible return come weeks after “Empire” was renewed for its sixth and final season at Fox. The network said at the time that there were “no plans” for Smollett to make an appearance, despite a negotiation to extend his option through the final run of episodes.Representatives for Smollett did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment. Fox and 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the show, declined to comment.Smollett had previously been written out of the final few episodes of Season 5 after Chicago prosecutors charged him with multiple counts of filing a false police report, though those charges were later dropped as part of a deal requiring him to perform community service and forfeit $10,000 bond.In an interview with TheWrap following the Season 5 finale, showrunner Brett Mahoney said no firm decision had been made regarding the possibility of Smollett returning at some point next season. “I think I just want what’s best for the show, so we’ll see what that is as we move forward,” he said.Also Read: Judge Orders That Jussie Smollett's Case File Be UnsealedEarlier this year, in a show of solidarity with Smollett, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and a number of the show’s other stars, delivered a letter to Fox and the show’s producers calling for the actor to be brought back to the show. Among the other names signed to the letter were Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parker.“Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of ‘Empire,'” the group wrote.The letter continued, “We have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity.”Read original story ‘Empire’ Co-Creator Lee Daniels Denies Report Jussie Smollett May Return for Final Season At TheWrap

  • Fox plots more 'toons, a '9-1-1' spinoff, the end of 'Empire' and plenty of 'Masked Singer'

    Fox is adding three new shows and WWE wrestling for fall, as "Empire" airs its final season. But "Last Man Standing" will wait out the fall.

  • ‘Empire’ Boss on Writing Jussie Smollett Out and Why Season 6 Will Be a ‘Reset’

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched "The Roughest Day," the fifth season finale of "Empire." It's been quite a year for "Empire." The fifth season kicked off by teasing that before the end of the season someone important to Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) would die. Over the course of the 18 […]

  • Jussie Smollett Not Returning to ‘Empire’ as Show Is Renewed for Season 6

    "There are no plans for the character of Jamal to return," read a Fox statement, addressing the actor's recent legal controversy.

  • ‘Empire’ Renewed for Season 6 by Fox, ‘No Plans’ for Jussie Smollett’s Character to Return at This Time

    “Empire” has been renewed by Fox for a sixth season, one week ahead of its Season 5 finale, though star Jussie Smollett’s fate on the series as the character Jamal Lyon is still uncertain.“By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to ‘Empire,” Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV said in a joint statement Tuesday.After news of the renewal broke, TheWrap obtained this statement from a representative for Smollett: “We’ve been told that Jussie will not be on ‘Empire’ in the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open. Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support.”Smollett was written out of the last two episodes of Season 5 after he was accused by Chicago police of orchestrating a staged assault against himself earlier this year. He was initially charged with 16 felony counts related to filing a false police report, but the charges were later dropped.Also Read: Ratings: Jussie Smollett's Final Season 5 Episode Ties Series Low for 'Empire'Last week, the Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard-led hip-hop drama aired Smollett’s final episode of the season, which featured the wedding of the openly gay Jamal and his fiance Kai (Toby Onwumere). The hour tied the show’s series low rating among adults in the sought-after 18-49 demographic.Before the episode aired, a letter was sent to Fox and the show’s producers by series regulars, including Henson and Howard, calling for Smollett to be brought back to the show next season. Other names signed to the letter include Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parker.The final two episodes of Season 5 are scheduled for tomorrow and May 8, respectively.“‘Empire’ continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the FOX legacy,” Michael Thorn, president of entertainment for FOX Entertainment, said in a statement Tuesday. “We want to thank everyone on the show – Taraji, Terrence and the entire cast, as well as Lee, Danny, Brett, Sanaa, Brian, Francie, Dennis and their teams – all of whom have done a tremendous job this season. We know there are so many more stories to tell, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for Season Six.”Also Read: Here's What Happened on Jussie Smollett's Final Episode of 'Empire' Season 5From Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television, “Empire” was created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, and is executive-produced by Daniels, Strong, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Sanaa Hamri, Dennis Hammer, Matt Pyken and Diane Ademu-John. Brett Mahoney serves as executive producer and showrunner on the series.Here’s the description for tomorrow’s Season 5 finale:Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) gets picked up by AUSA Conway (guest star Alicia Coppola), while Lucious (Terrence Howard) is visited by his past. Becky (Gabourey Sidibe), Hakeem (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray) and Andre (Trai Byers) devise a plan to save Empire by putting on a show with special guests Sevyn Streeter and Ty Dolla $ign. Meanwhile, Andre helps Empire with an assist from the last person the Lyons expect and Cookie may never forgive Lucious for what he’s done, leading up to next week’s heart-stopping finale.“Empire” airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.Read original story ‘Empire’ Renewed for Season 6 by Fox, ‘No Plans’ for Jussie Smollett’s Character to Return at This Time At TheWrap

  • Empire Cast Urges Fox to Bring Back Jussie Smollett for Potential Season 6: 'We Must Stand Together as a Family'

    Just a few hours before Jussie Smollett‘s final Empire episode of the season airs on Fox, his co-stars have penned a letter of support, asking the network to keep Smollett on the show for a potential sixth season. Terrence Howard (Lucious), Taraji P. Henson (Cookie), Bryshere Y. Gray (Hakeem), Trai Byers (Andre), Gabourey Sidibe (Becky) […]

  • Jussie Smollett Should Be “Brought Back” For ‘Empire’s Next Season, Taraji P Henson & Terrence Howard Tell Disney, Fox

    EXCLUSIVE: Empire co-creator Lee Daniels told a New York City morning show Wednesday that the fate of Jussie Smollett on the Fox hit is “in discussions” right now, but Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and the rest of the series' top cast have already made their decision. “Together, as a united front, we stand with […]

  • 'Empire' creator Lee Daniels sends support to Jussie Smollett: 'He is my son'

    "Empire" creator Lee Daniels is showing his support for Jussie Smollett a month after prosecutors dropped all charges against the actor.