- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The studio behind the TV show “Empire” issued a statement of support for actor Jussie Smollett on Wednesday even as his lawyers worked to prevent him from being indicted in Chicago.

Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” 20th Century Fox TV tweeted.

The timing of the statement confused readers, given that his claim of a racist and homophobic attack on Jan. 29 has him on the verge of facing felony charges of filing a false police report.

Brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo — who claim the actor hired them for an orchestrated attack — were preparing to testify before a grand jury in Chicago when lawyers convinced Cook County prosecutors to postpone the proceeding.

“Bye bye Empire and all associated. down the tubes you go,” responded one reader to the studio’s message.

“So, sure, he tries to make half the country look like racists and increase hatred in the country, but he’s really nice on the set,” deadpanned another.

Mr. Smollett recently told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that more people would believe him if his story didn’t include racist supporters of President Trump.

“It feels like if I had said it was a Muslim or a Mexican or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot much more,” he told host Robin Roberts. “That says a lot about the place where we are as a country right now.”

Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, confirmed this week that the actor pleaded no contest to providing false information to law enforcement in a 2007 misdemeanor case.

Mr. Smollette gave police the wrong name during a DUI stop, WGN reported Wednesday.

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