- Jussie Smollett has reportedly been cut from scenes of Fox's " Empire " that are scheduled to be filmed in this week, according to Deadline and TMZ .
- Smollett has alleged that he was assaulted by two men in a racist and homophobic attack in late January.
- On Saturday, sources from the Chicago police investigation said that they had reason to believe that Smollett may have paid the men to stage the assault, CNN reported Saturday.
- Smollett has denied the claims that he orchestrated the attack.
Smollett has been cut from five of nine scenes as well as a musical number, sources told TMZ. The Fox hit is currently filming in Chicago.
This news comes as police continue to investigate whether Smollett himself was involved in staging a late January assault to make it appear to be a racist and homophobic hate crime, as CNN reported Saturday . Sources told CNN that Chicago Police believe Smollett may have paid two men to stage the attack.
At the time, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told INSIDER that investigators had requested another interview with Smollett after the emergence of the new information.
"There are some developments in the investigation and we are now interested in speaking to the 'Empire' cast member again," Guglielmi said.
Smollett's lawyers, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, denied reports that Smollett orchestrated the attack.
The 36-year-old actor says that on January 29, the attackers put a noose around his neck, chanted Trump slogans, poured bleach on him, and used racist and homophobic slurs.
Smollett's attorneys released a statement Saturday night, saying Smollett was being "further victimized" by accusations that he orchestrated the attack.
"Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying," attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said. "As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with."
Representatives for Fox didn't immediately return INSIDER's request for comment.
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