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'Empire' final season episodes will be without Jussie Smollet

Chicago Police Department
Justin "Jussie" Smollet

Producers of "Empire" say Jussie Smollett's character will be written out of the final episodes of the current season.  In a statement, the producers said while Jussie has been an important part of the show, they are also aware of the effects of the legal process can have on the cast and crew members. They add, to avoid further disruption on set, they have decided to remove Jussie's role from the final two episodes of the season.

Chicago police charged Smollet with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report--a Class 4 felony (which carries at least sentence of three years in prison) over allegations that he staged he paid two brothers to stage the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary.

Meanwhile, the announcement comes after Smollett was released on bail yesterday and went to the set of the hit FOX television show to apologize to the cast crew, but maintained his innocence.  TMZ is reporting that some of the Empire actors said if TV executives didn't fire him, he needs to quit on his own before he damages the show's reputation any further. 

A high level California Democrat continues to throw support behind Jussie Smollett.  Congresswoman Maxine Waters says she still doesn't know all the details about the case, but if it turns out that Smollett did orchestrate his own attack it would be disappointing.  Many celebrities have taken down Tweets backing the black and gay Empire actor, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi but Waters refuses.  He apologized to the Empire cast and crew, but maintains his innocence.

A Hollywood heavyweight is reacting to Smollett’s arrest.  Tyler Perry took to social media shortly after Chicago police said Smollett orchestrated his alleged attack.  Perry says he's personally talked with Smollett who claims he's telling the truth.  He goes on to say that everyone who knows Smollett, says he's not the type of kid to make up such a horrible story, but the evidence seems to say otherwise.  Perry also talks about two missing men and how he wishes they got the same attention Smollett did.