Jussie Smollett Will Not Return to ‘Empire’ Next Season

Fox announced earlier Tuesday that the show had been renewed for a sixth season

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Fox Entertainment says Jussie Smollett will not return to "Empire" in the wake of allegations by Chicago officials the actor lied about a racially motivated attack.

The studio released a statement Tuesday saying "there are no plans for Smollett's character of Jamal to return to 'Empire.'" No reason was given.

Fox announced earlier Tuesday that the show had been renewed for a sixth season.

"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," a spokesperson for Smollett said. "Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and Empire leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support."

Chicago police allege Smollett paid two brothers to help him stage a January attack in which he said two masked men beat him, hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, doused him with a chemical substance and put a rope around his neck.

Smollett, who is black and gay, maintains the attack wasn't staged. He was arrested, but prosecutors later dropped the charges.

"Empire" films each episode in Chicago.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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