Jussie Smollett's 'scenes on Empire have been cut and show writers are scrambling to fill in the gaps' amid 'hoax' attack scandal
Jussie Smollett's scenes on Empire have been drastically cut back and writers are scrambling to come up with changes to make up for the gaps, it has been claimed.
TMZ cites anonymous production sources who say that the 36-year-old had nine key scenes in the new string of episodes of the Fox show and one big musical but that they have been cut.
Empire is in its fifth season. It last aired on December 5 and is due to return to screens in the spring but a date for the 10th episode of the season has not yet been announced.
The final episodes are still being filmed. Smollett, who was due to appear in at least nine prominent scenes and have his own musical, will now only be in eight and will appear on-screen with other characters.
He is now required on set far less, according to the report, though the sources would not say if his role would be entirely written out.
He plays Jamal Lyon, one of the son's Terrance Howard's musical mogul character's sons.
Smollett, shown on set, plays Jamal Lyon, the middle son of Terrance Howard's hip hop mogul character and his wife, Cookie, who is played by Taraji Henson. They are shown with Bryshere Gray who plays Jussie's on-screen brother, Hakeem
A representative for Fox, which owns the show, did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com's inquiries about the claims on Tuesday morning.
They declined to comment on Monday when asked if Jussie's role had been affected by the latest developments in the shocking and unpredictable case.
On Monday, it was reported that the star may now face felony charges for filling a false police report about the January 29 attack he says he suffered and which shocked the world.
Smollett, who strenuously denies lying and maintains he was the victim of a heinous, homophobic and racist ambush, is due to speak to investigators again and his team of attorneys says he is cooperating fully.
Two Nigerian-descent brothers who were brought in for questioning about the attack last week were released without charge after allegedly telling investigators that Smollett, who knew them, paid them to do it and told them to buy the rope he said was placed around his neck.
The brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, released a statement on Monday to say they were 'not homophobic, not racist and not anti-Trump' but they are yet to say anything else.
After DailyMail.com revealed that it was them who had been taken in to be questioned and that the pair knew Smollett and had even trained in his gym, the actor released a statement to say he found it 'impossible' that they could somehow have been involved.
The incident occurred at 2am on January 29 as Smollett was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop.
He had not long returned to Chicago from New York on an hours-long delayed flight which he documented on social media in live time.
He had been in New York to participate in a reading of a play about a gay baseball player who suffers a similarly homophobic attack to the one he later described to police.
In a tearful interview on Good Morning America last week, he wept as he said he was telling the truth and was hopeful that surveillance camera footage of the attack would soon be found to quieten his doubters.
Police sources cited by CBS and ABC but that have not yet been confirmed have suggested he made up the attack because he wanted more publicity, either because he feared he was being written out of the show or because a threatening letter he claimed to receive a week earlier did not get enough attention.
The police department will give out no details on the record.