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Lee Daniels Is 'Beyond Embarrassed' About Jussie Smollett's Hate Crime Scandal

Lee Daniels is sharing his candid feelings about Jussie Smollett‘s alleged hate crime hoax scandal.

The Empire co-creator and director spoke out in an interview with Vulture.

“I’m beyond embarrassed. I think that when it happened, I had a flash of me running from bullies. I had a flash of my whole life, of my childhood, my youth, getting beaten,” he said of initially pledging his support for Jussie when news broke of the alleged hate crime.

When asked if it was something he would have suspected or out of the blue, he responded: “Blue. Blue.”

“If it turned out that he did it, was guilty, and all of it’s accurate,” he added.

He also admitted he doesn’t know for sure what’s true.

“Of course, there’s some doubt. I’m telling you that because I love him so much. That’s the torture that I’m in right now, because it’s literally if it were to happen to your son and your child, how would you feel? You would feel, Please, God, please let there be that glimmer of hope that there is some truth in this story. That’s why it’s been so painful. It was a flood of pain.”

“We weren’t there. I can’t judge him. That’s only for the f–king lady or man with that black robe and God. I had to detach myself and stop calling him, because it was taking away the time I have for my kids, the time I have for my partner. It was affecting my spirit and other shows, everything,” he went on to say.

He also addressed whether Jussie is returning to Empire. Click here to see his reaction!

To read more of Lee‘s reaction, head to

Jussie Smollett Will Officially Not Return to 'Empire' for Final Season

Jussie Smollett is not returning for the final season of Empire.

The 36-year-old actor, who was at the center of a major controversy earlier this year when he was allegedly attacked in a hate crime only to be arrested and charged for faking the crime before the case was eventually dropped, will not return to the show, co-creator Lee Daniels confirmed in a tweet on Tuesday (June 4).

Jussie [Smollett] will NOT be returning to Empire,” he wrote in response to an initial report from Variety, which claimed that the show’s writing staff was coming up with ideas for the star for the final season.

See Lee‘s official response inside…

'Empire' to End with Season 6 with 'No Plans' for Jussie Smollett's Return

Empire is going to end with next season’s sixth and final season, the network has confirmed.

Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn said he “promises [the season will be] filled with drama, shocking surprises and more jaw-dropping moments.”

“We really are trying to go out guns blazing. One of the great benefits of announcing a final season is to give the fans the ending they deserve. We feel really good about what we’re doing with it,” he continued.

About Jussie Smollett‘s potential return to the show, Michael said, “As you might’ve read recently, there’s an option to have Jussie in the series. But at this point, we have no plans. The room hasn’t even gathered yet, so we have an option but there are no plans yet.”

Check out Fox’s Fall schedule to see when Empire and every other show will air.

Jussie Smollett Reacts to 'Empire' Renewal News

Jussie Smollett is unlikely to return to Empire during the upcoming sixth season, but he is still showing support for the Fox series.

The network just announced that the show has been renewed for a new season, but Jussie‘s character Jamal will not be in any of the early episodes. His contract has been extended for the possibility of a return in the future.

A representative for Jussie released a statement with his reaction to the news.

Click inside to find out what was said… More Here! »

'Empire' Renewed for Season 6, Jussie Smollett's Fate Unknown

Empire is officially returning to Fox for a sixth season, but it’s still not known if Jussie Smollett will return with the rest of the cast.

The network has announced that there are no current plans to bring Jussie‘s character Jamal back to the show, but there’s still the option of having him return.

“By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire,” Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television said in a statement.

Empire continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the Fox legacy,” said Fox Entertainment’s president of entertainment Michael Thorn. “We want to thank everyone on the show – Taraji, Terrence and the entire cast, as well as Lee, Danny, Brett, Sanaa, Brian, Francie, Dennis and their teams – all of whom have done a tremendous job this season. We know there are so many more stories to tell, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for Season Six.”