Jussie Smollett Plans on Returning to Work Following Attack

Jussie Smollett is gearing up to return to work days after being attacked on a Chicago street.

“As of now, Jussie plans to return to work when filming for his role picks up again,” a source close to the Empire actor tells ET of the FOX show.

While Empire production was temporarily shut down due to weather, the source adds that it gave Smollett “time to process everything that happened.” 

Smollett is scheduled to perform at the famed West Hollywood venue the Troubadour on Saturday, and doesn’t plan on canceling.

“Jussie is planning to perform a musical show this weekend in L.A. Jussie is strong. He knows that what happened to him is unfortunate, but he’s not going to let it get the best of him,” the source says. “He’s a fighter and will push through this, like everything else he has fought through in his life.”

As for EmpireET has learned that both Smollett and the rest of the FOX cast will have armed security as production of the show resumes. That news comes after ET learned that there was an emotional meeting to inform the production about what happened to Smollett on Tuesday.

FOX also provided counselors to the cast and crew of Empire to talk about the incident and to answer any questions.

“The counselors will be there for as long as the cast and crew needs,” a source told ET. “Everyone processes trauma differently, and the network understands that. The pace of filming will be based on how everyone feels, and the network and people involved want to do whatever they can to make the cast and crew feel safe and supported.”

ET confirmed on Tuesday that Smollett was hospitalized in Chicago after an attack in the early hours of the morning. He told police that he was approached by two men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, and at one point wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance — now believed to be bleach — on him.

On Wednesday night, the Chicago Police Department released photos, captured by a surveillance camera, of two persons of interest in Smollett’s case.

“Photos of people of interest who were in area of the alleged assault & battery of Empire cast member,” police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi wrote on Twitter. “While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed.”

For more on the ongoing investigation, watch the video below:

 

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