During his Wednesday appearance on Good Day New York,Empire creator Lee Daniels revealed that the City of Chicago's civil lawsuit against Smollett is "causing a dilemma" in regard to bringing the actor back for a possible sixth season of the Fox series. Empire has yet to be renewed.
"We are in discussions about that right now," he said.
All criminal charges against Smollett were dropped on March 26, following the Chicago Police Department's accusation that he filed a false police report in which he claimed he was the victim of a hate crime. However, earlier this month, the City of Chicago sued Smollett over the cost of investigating the alleged attack -- following the actor's refusal to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating what they allege was a false police report.
"It's so painful that our souls are cracked," Daniels said on Wednesday. "It's just too painful to talk about."
"There are only two judges. God and that man that wears the robe," he added. "And I cannot judge. I can only have compassion."
Amid the turmoil of Smollett's alleged attack, he was written off the final two episodes of Empire's fifth season. His last episode this season will air on Wednesday.
"I have had conversations with him and he is in a lot of pain," said Daniels, who was one of the first to express support for Smollett after his alleged attack in January. "If he is guilty, then I am worried about his mental health."