Entertainment

There’s A Chance That Jussie Smollett Could Return For The ‘Empire’ Series Finale And We’re Not Totally Surprised

Empire is airing its final season in the absence of one of its most popular leads, Jussie Smollet who portrayed Jamal Lyon. Smollet was let go from the series earlier this year, after a controversial incident where he allegedly staged a hate crime in Chicago. 

Series creator Lee Daniels insisted that Smollet would not be returning after the hoax was uncovered, however, the showrunner Brett Mahoney thinks ending the show without the actor would be strange. 

Smollet’s last episode showed Jamal marrying Kai then moving to London. When the series was renewed for its sixth and final season, Smollet’s contract was extended but he has not appeared in any episodes so far. 

Empire’s showrunner is seriously considering bringing Smollet back.

“It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part of without seeing him,” Mahoney told TV Line. “It’s fair to say it’s being discussed, but there’s no plan as of yet to bring him back. There’s been no decision made.” 

Jamal’s storylines tended to anchor the show when it wasn’t focusing on his ever-feuding parents, Cookie and Lucious. Moreover, his portrayal of a queer man of color garnered a great deal of attention and adoration from viewers. Although, many felt his expulsion from the show was shocking but necessary after the Chicago incident unfolded. 

The New York Times described Smollett’s job termination as a “footnote” in the season six premiere. Cookie mentions that Jamal has run off to London and that she misses him. That’s all. 

“It was a fleeting 20-second exchange that attempted to tie up the loose ends of months of real-life controversy,” Julia Jacobs wrote. “So far, the Empire writers have been less morbid, deciding to give Jamal convenient reasons to be offscreen rather than killing his character off.”

Smollet is still grappling with the incident in Chicago.

Daniels tweeted in June that Smollet would not be coming back to the show. “Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire,” the creator declared on Twitter. In February, Smollet’s account of being beaten up by two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs received national attention. 

What was first public sympathy became public condemnation when Chicago police began to cast doubt on the merits of the attack. Smollet was charged with making a false police report and multiple felony counts, however, the charges were controversially dropped. Smollet has maintained his innocence. 

“Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment,” Smollet’s two lawyers Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement.
“Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion.”

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said that due to Smollet’s volunteer service in the community and the forfeiture of his bond to the City of Chicago, they felt dismissing the case was an “appropriate resolution.” 

In November, Smollet counter-sued Chicago for “malicious prosecution.” Following the dismissal of his trial the City of Chicago sued the actor for $130,000 to compensate for 1,836 hours of police overtime used in his case. 

“Having agreed to accept $10,000 from Mr. Smollett as payment in full connection with the dismissal of the charges against him,” the counterclaim stated.“The City cannot seek additional recovery from Mr. Smollett under the doctrine of accord and satisfaction.”

Many people have not forgiven Smollet for what happened or didn’t happen or allegedly happened in Chicago. 

A recent story grabbed headlines when 16-year-old Karol Sanchez told police she staged her own kidnapping to seek reprieve from her strict mother — now Twitter users are comparing the incident to Smollet’s. 

“So we had to start 2019 with Jussie Smollett’s hoax and now end it with Karol Sanchez’s staged kidnapping?! I am too through! 2020 can’t come soon enough,” one user said

“Jussie Smollett started 2019, Karol Sanchez had to finish it,” another user tweeted

While we may never know what actually happened on that winter night in February, people seem to have very strong reactions to Smollet’s story. Still, the actor has always had support from some of his cast members. 

“We miss Jussie,” Taraji P. Henson told the New York Times this September. “He’s family to us. There’s no way we can throw five years of family away.”

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North Carolina Spanish Teacher Dies In Shootout With Mexican Cartel

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North Carolina Spanish Teacher Dies In Shootout With Mexican Cartel

A beloved Spanish teacher at a North Carolina school was killed in a shootout with a Mexican cartel. The Spanish teacher and coach was popular among students, faculty, and staff and lived by the motto “All Love…No Fear.”

Coach Barney Harris was beloved at the Union Academy Charter School.

Harris’ death stunned the community and the school’s social media lit up with memorials and remembrances of the teacher. Students responded with notes honoring the coach. Yet, the varsity basketball and track coach for the Charlotte-area charter school was hiding a secret that quickly came to light shortly after his death.

As students, faculty, and staff expressed sorrow for his sudden death, details emerged that changed the narrative. Turns out that Harris was killed in a gunfight with a Mexican cartel. Authorities in North Carolina revealed that Harris’ body was found in a mobile home in Alamance County, where he allegedly met with drug runner Alonso Beltran Lara.

The details of Harris’ death have shocked more than his community.

The school’s social media pages quickly deleted tribute posts to the Spanish teacher when the details were revealed. Authorities were cautious with releasing the information to make sure that the facts were verified.

“I can tell you this right now. When we are dealing with the Mexican drug cartel, somebody’s probably going to die as a result of this right here, somewhere else. And we did not want to put it out there until we could get a good grip of what’s going on here,” Sheriff Terry Johnson told WCNC.

According to authorities, it is believed that Harris, along with his brother-in-law, killed a drug runner for the cartel and a gunfight ensued. Harris was killed during the shootout.

According to authorities, the two interstates, Interstate 85 and Interstate 40, have created a well-used corridor for moving money and drugs for the cartels.

Authorities seized five firearms, about $7,000 in cash, and 1.2 kilograms of suspected cocaine from the scene. No other people in the mobile home park were injured.

READ: It’s No Surprise El Chapo’s Wife Is In Jail, Her TikTok Was A Look Inside #CartelLife

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Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

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Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

A recent video shared by a border patrol agent highlighted a shocking moment of smugglers literally dropping two little girls over a 14-foot high fence in the New Mexico desert. Right in the dead of night.

In the disturbing video, the smugglers can be seen climbing the fence and then dropping the two 5-year-old and 3-year-old sisters to the ground.

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez shared that the incident occurred “miles from the nearest residence.”

The two little girls (Yareli, 3, and Yasmina, 5) were rescued after agents spotted them during a virtual surveillance sweep. The two sisters are from Ecuador and were dumped by human smugglers at the border wall according to an official.

“[US Immigration officials] need to verify the identity of the parents and confirm they are the parents and make sure they are in good condition to receive the girls,” Magdalena Nunez, of the Consulate of Ecuador in Houston, explained to The New York Post on Thursday. “It’s a process … We’re working to make sure it’s an expedited process and the girls spend as minimal time as possible separated from their parents.”

“Hopefully it can happen soon, in a week or two, but  it can take up to six weeks. We are working to make sure sure it happens as quickly as possible,” she explained before noting that the two sisters are “doing very well.”

“We have been in contact with them and confirmed they are in good health,” Nunez shared. “Physically, they are perfect — emotionally, obviously, they went through a hard time, but I guarantee you right now they are in good health and they are conversing. They are very alert, very intelligent.”

In a statement about the incident, the Ecuadorian consulate confirmed that the two girls had been in touch with their parents, who live in New York City.

“The Ecuadorian Consulate in Houston had a dialogue with the minors and found that they are in good health and that they contacted their parents, who currently live in New York City,” explained the consulate.

In a statement from the girls’ parents sent to Telemundo, the girls’ parents had left their daughters behind at their home in Jaboncillo, Ecuador, to travel to the US. The parents of the two girls have been identified as Yolanda Macas Tene and Diego Vacacela Aguilar. According to the New York Post, “The girls’ grandparents have asked President Biden to reunite the children with their parents. Aguilar paid a human smuggler to take his kids to the border — though the grandparents didn’t know how much they paid.”

“[The parents] wanted to be with them, their mother suffered a lot, for that reason they decided to take them,” paternal grandfather Lauro Vacacela explained in an interview with Univision.

It is still uncertain as to whether or not the girls’ parents are in the country legally.

Photos of the girls showed them having snacks with Agent Gloria Chavez.

“When I visited with these little girls, they were so loving and so talkative, some of them were asking the names of all the agents that were there around them, and they even said they were a little hungry,” Chavez told Fox News. “So I helped them peel a banana and open a juice box and just talked to them. You know, children are just so resilient and I’m so grateful that they’re not severely injured or [have] broken limbs or anything like that.”

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