‘Empire’ Team Reportedly Questioning Jussie Smollett’s Financial Motive For Allegedly Staging Attack

Empire team members are still scratching their heads about the increasingly complicated Jussie Smollett story, especially because sources say that he had never previously complained about his salary!

In a statement today, series executives announced that his character would be removed from the final two episodes of this season “to avoid further disruption on set,” but did not address in the statement his reasoning for allegedly staging a hate crime attack.

Related: Everything We Know So Far About Jussie Smollett’s Alleged Staged Attack

Sources close to the hit drama shared with The Hollywood Reporter that the 36-year-old had never previously expressed dissatisfaction with his compensation.

It’s estimated that he makes upwards of $125,000 per episode of the show, a pretty big jump from his estimated $40,000 to $50,000 he was paid per episode when the show premiered in 2015, following negotiations on star contracts thanks to the popularity of the show.

While many of his cast members reportedly want him removed from the show completely, one El Lay source shared with THR that he likely won’t be completely abandoned, as long as he maintains his innocence:

“No one in business with him is going to publicly distance themselves while he maintains he’s a victim. You don’t want to be in a position where you look like you’re disloyal to clients.”

Currently, the Chicago Police Department believe that the actor staged the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on the Fox show.

So messy….

[Image via Joseph Marzullo/WENN.]

Feb 22, 2019 12:53pm PDT

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