Jussie Smollet returned to Empire set on Thursday, just hours after his arrest. The 36-year-old was charged on Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct, a charge that could bring up to three years in prison and force the actor to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a 29 January beating.
He was released from jail after posting $100 000 bail.
Deadline reports that Smollett went directly to the set after his bail hearing.
20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment who is behind the hit show issued a statement saying: “We understand the seriousness of this matter, and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation, and we are considering our options.”
MAINTAINS HIS INNOCENCE
During the hearing one of his attorneys told the judge that Smollett maintains “these are outrageous allegations” and denies they are true.
About a dozen family members and supporters of Smollett attended the hearing. They stood up throughout the proceedings and also left without addressing the large media contingent outside.
On Thursday evening his team released another statement calling the actor a “man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence.
The statement also said Johnson’s Thursday afternoon press conference was an organised law enforcement spectacle.”
“The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett,” the statement read.
Police say the actor hired the two brothers to stage what the actor reported was a racist and homophobic attack against him.
Chicago’s police superintendent, Eddie Johnson alleges that the reported attack was a “publicity stunt” that Smollett concocted because he was unhappy about his salary.
Smollett is earning more than $100 000 per episode, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because salary details were involved. The studio declined to comment on the actor’s salary.