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'Empire' Cast Writes Letter Demanding Jussie Smollett's Return To Show

‘Empire’ Cast Writes Letter Demanding Jussie Smollett’s Return To Show
Source: Gary Gershoff/WireImage/Getty Images

Apr. 24 2019, Published 8:02 p.m. ET

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Jussie Smollett may be returning to the show Empire following the scandal that erupted after he claimed he was attacked in Chicago.

Deadline reportedly obtained a letter penned by the stars of the show — including Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard — and sent on Apr. 19 to executives at FOX Entertainment, Disney and others with the power to make the decision.

"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 cast wrote.

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"We understand the past months have been difficult to process — sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal," they added.

As reported, Smollet, 36, had been accused of claiming to be the victim of a staged racist and homophobic attack by unknown perpetrators in Chicago on Jan. 29.

The two alleged attackers were later identified as brothers Olabinjo "Ola" and Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo. One of the siblings reportedly worked on the set of Empire as an extra.

The actor always proclaimed he was innocent of planning the crime, and the city eventually dropped charges against him.

However, officials are now suing Smollett to recoup the cost of the investigation and the brothers are also going after him in a lawsuit for defamation.

Still, Smollett's co-stars fully believe his side of the story.

"Throughout Empire's five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie's personal character," they wrote in the letter. "He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity."

"He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped," the actors noted. "We are confident in his lawyer's assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed."


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