Taraji P. Henson Says Jussie Smollett Will Return to 'Empire'

The show is currently on hiatus.

Jussie Smollett will be making his way back to Empire.

On Thursday, Taraji P. Henson stopped by The View and revealed that, following the announcement made by the Cook County State Attorney's Office that Smollett will no longer face charges for allegedly filing a false police report in which he claimed he was the victim of a hate crime, he's "doing well."

"I talk to Jussie all the time. He's doing well. We're all doing well. The show is doing well," Henson said, before discussing Empire itself in more detail. 

"We're on hiatus right now. The writers are trying to figure out what next season is going to look like, what our storyline is going to be," Henson, who plays Cookie Lyon on the series, said. "[They're] trying to drum up some really juicy stuff for you guys, so that's where we are right now."

Additionally, Henson said Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, will make a return to the show next season. "Yes. I haven't heard anything else," she said. "I haven't heard anything."

Henson has always supported Smollett and, after the charges against him were dropped late last month, she told USA Today that she was "happy that the truth has finally been set free."

"We're all happy for him, and thank God the truth prevailed," she said, before adding that she always believed in his innocence.

"I know him and I know his track record. I'm not going to jump on clickbait just because someone says something derogatory about a person I know and love. I'm not easily swayed like that," she said. "Those little clickbait [reports] weren't enough to deter me from his immaculate track record. I know the type of activism this young man does in his community, I know that he's a giver -- he's not an attention-seeker."

"When I know someone, there's nothing you can say to make me flip on them, and that's what we miss in this world," she continued. "We need people that stand by us. Whatever happened to that? Why are we so easy to believe strangers over people we know?"

Henson reiterated her support for Smollett at the premiere of The Best of Enemies in New York on Thursday. When asked by ET for her reaction to the charges against Smollett being dropped, she replied, "I mean, the truth always prevails. Thank you."  

As for the show itself, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment released a statement in support of Smollett after the charges were dropped. "Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed."

In a press conference following the announcement, Smollett thanked his friends and fans for helping him get through the "incredibly difficult time."

Meanwhile, both Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel came out against the decision to drop the charges against Smollett. Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the Chicago government's legal department, also told ET that the city is seeking $130,000 from Smollett to cover the costs of the investigation, which Smollett's attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, classified as a continued "campaign against" Smollett.

Smollett was arrested on Feb. 21 after being charged with felony disorderly conduct. On March 14, he pleaded not guilty to the 16 felony counts he was indicted on. The counts focused on him allegedly making false statements to two different Chicago Police officers. When reporting the alleged January attack, Smollett claimed that he was assaulted by two masked men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, poured what he believed was bleach over him and put a noose around his neck.

Smollett has maintained that he is a victim and denied all allegations that he staged the incident.

Henson's latest film, The Best of Enemies, arrives in theaters on Friday, April 5.

Watch the video below for more on Smollett.



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