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"The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us", the show's co-creators and producers said in a statement.

"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".

Meanwhile, his legal team released as statement on social media, calling him "a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence".

Chicago police said Thursday that Smollett set up a hate crime hoax, claiming he was assaulted by men saying he did not belong in "MAGA country", because he was not happy with the salary he earns on the Fox television show.

What did Daniels say to Smollett after the actor's attack claim?

Speaking on CBSN following the press conference in Chicago, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds said he's covered Johnson for several years and has "seldom heard him as angry as he was today".

As authorities laid out their case against Smollett, the narrative that emerged Thursday sounded like that of a filmmaker who wrote, cast, directed and starred in a short movie.

The producers of the TV show "Empire" say Jussie Smollett's character will be removed from the final two episodes of this season.

"Trump responded on Thursday after Smollett was charged, tweeting: "(W) hat about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and risky comments!?"

The staged attack went ahead as planned, with the brothers mildly punching Smollett with gloved hands, according to Johnson, the police superintendent.

While it was already revealed that Jussie Smollett's role on Empire was set to be dramatically reduced, it's now been announced that Smollett is scratching the actor from the end of the current season altogether. It was only after 46 hours behind bars that they agreed to talk, later admitting they helped stage the attack and offering details on how it was done. They also said that Smollett had sent a threatening letter to himself that was received at Fox days before the attack.

Smollett appeared in court Thursday afternoon and spoke only to confirm his name to the judge.

Smollett's attorneys wrote that he, like any other citizen, "enjoys the presumption of innocence" and that they meant to "mount an aggressive defense".

The "Empire" actor turned himself in on a felony count of filing a false police report.

Following the highly publicized arrest, the network said they were "evaluating the situation" and "considering [their] options".


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