NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The creator of the hit FOX show "Empire" says embattled actor Jussie Smollett may not return to the series. But the stars of the show are apparently lining up behind Smollett.
"It's causing a dilemma and we're in discussions about that right now," show creator Lee Daniels said in an appearance Wednesday on FOX 5's Good Day New York.
Smollett was sued by the city of Chicago for allegedly lying about an assault on him. Smollett is accused of orchestrating the attack.
"It’s so painful," Daniels told hosts Rosanna Scotto and Lori Stokes. Our souls are cracked. It’s almost too painful to talk about."
Smollett claimed he was the victim of a hate crime.
"There are only two judges: God and that man that wears the robe. I cannot judge. I can only have compassion," said Daniels.
Co-stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard reportedly sent a letter to the studios saying that Smollett should return to the show. The Fox and Disney studios had not publicly responded to the letter.
"I've had conversations with him. He's in a lot of pain," Daniels said. "I think that if he is guilty, then I am worried about his mental health."