Washington: Fox is considering removing Jussie Smollett from production on “Empire.”
Sources told Variety that producers are weighing whether to suspend the actor after he was charged Wednesday in Chicago with filing a false police report.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi took to Twitter and wrote, “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” reported Variety.
According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 pm on Thursday, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
In a statement, Smollett’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said they would aggressively defend the charge.
The statement read, “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.”
“Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense,” the statement further read.
According to police, Smollett could face one to three years in prison if convicted of the felony charge, though he could also be sentenced to probation.
Smollett told police on January 29 that he had been attacked by two men, who poured bleach on him, put a rope around his neck, and used racial and homophobic slurs.
The police looked into surveillance cameras from the area but were unable to find images of the attack. However, they were able to track down two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, who were in the vicinity of the event.
The brothers were arrested last week and on questioning said Smollett had paid them to carry out the attack.
Smollett’s attorneys have denied that he staged the assault, saying that the accusation represented a further victimisation.
Fox had previously stood by Smollett, issuing two statements of support over the course of the investigation, and countering media reports that he was set to be fired from ‘Empire.’