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Jussie Smollett is reportedly suicidal after his character, Jamal Lyon, was axed from Fox TV’s soap opera Empire next season. Variety.com reports Empire was renewed at the final hour on Tuesday. 20th Century Fox executives negotiated a contract extension for Smollett, but decided not to bring his character back next season.

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Empire creator Lee Daniels shared the cast reaction to Jussie Smollett's ongoing criminal case in a video on his Instagram account on Wednesday night.

The fallout continues as Empire's TV ratings crashed to a new low for the 2nd consecutive week.

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Fox Television executives are probably rethinking their decision not to scrub all of actor Jussie Smollett's scenes from the 2nd half of Empire's season 5, which returned on March 13 - nearly a month after the disgraced co-lead star was arrested in Chicago for filing a false police report.

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Actor Jussie Smollett plead not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police investigators about an alleged hate crime. Smollett walked into Leighton Criminal Courthouse with his attorneys and bodyguard for his court appearance on March 14.

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Jussie Smollett

Actor Jussie Smollett may have got the idea for his hoax homophobic attack from an emotional Instagram post by Lee Daniels. The Empire director wrote a heartfelt Instagram post on Jan. 10, after his cousin was assaulted because of his homosexuality.

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Jussie Smollett is no longer a cast member of Fox TV's hit musical Empire. The disgraced actor's character, Jamal Lyon, was written out of the last 5 episodes of the 2nd half of season 5, which returns from the fall break in March.

Empire fans can say with certainty that the body in the casket in season 5's dramatic finale is Jamal Lyon.

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Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett's Empire co-stars embraced the troubled actor as he returned to the set hours after posting a $100,000 bond and surrendering his passport on Thursday. Smollett, 36, was arrested early Wednesday and charged with a felony for filing a false police report.

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Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett is in police custody in Chicago after voluntarily surrendering early Thursday morning. Smollett is charged with a Class 4 felony for filing a false police report.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett, 36, staged a hate crime to earn more money as an actor on the Fox musical Empire.

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