“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense,” Smollett’s attorneys said.
When suspicions arose that Smollett’s story could be fabricated, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment released a statement last week standing by him.
“The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of ‘Empire’ is patently ridiculous,” the statement read. “He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”
After his arrest Thursday, the studio and network released another statement.
“We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process,” 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a statement to CNN on Thursday. “We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”
Smollett is “on hold” for Friday’s shoot, per the production schedule that was recently released to cast and crew.
The filming of the season finale episode of Empire is in progress this week and next week.