Taraji P. Henson spills tea on Jussie Smollett’s future with ‘Empire’

The actress says her television son would continue to be a part of the cast, despite the controversy that has surrounded him for the past two months

Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson on ABC's 'The View' (ABC)

Now that the Jussie Smollett case has wound down, at least as far as Chicago law enforcement is concerned, Taraji P. Henson says her embattled Empire co-star will return to the series.

Appearing Thursday on ABC’s “The View” talk show, Henson, 48, said that the actor who escaped charges related to an alleged staging of a racist, homophobic attack will continue to portray the character “Jamal Lyon,” who is heir to a record company fortune.

Host Joy Behar asked Henson about Smollett’s standing with the show and if he would be returning.

READ MORE: Chris Rock ROASTS Jussie Smollett at NAACP Image Awards: ‘What a waste of light skin!’

Henson replied, “Yes, I haven’t heard anything else,” she said.

The actress plays Smollett’s on-screen mother, Cookie Lyon, and said she talks to him frequently.

“I talk to Jussie all the time,” she said. “He’s doing well. We are all doing well. The show is doing well.”

Henson added, “We are on hiatus right now. The writers are trying to figure out what the next season is going to look like, what our storyline is going to be. They are trying to drum up some really good juicy stuff for you guys, so that’s where we are right now.”

READ MORE: Taraji P. Henson says ‘Empire’ cast is ‘strong’ despite Jussie Smollett controversy

Speculation about the future of the show and Smollett’s future with it swirled as Smollett faced indictment on 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct in connection with an assault he alleges took place in the early morning hours of Jan. 29 in Chicago.

The actor said he was attacked by two men who beat him, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him and poured bleach on him.

But on March 26th, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped all charges against the actor, prompting surprise and anger or support from varying corners of the country.
The show has yet to be renewed for a sixth season, The Daily Mail reports.

READ MORE: ‘Empire’ ratings took a dip amid Jussie Smollett’s alleged hate crime scandal