Lee Daniels and Jussie Smollett haven’t been speaking lately, but new reports from Page Six revealed that it’s not because of the supposed hate-crime hoax. Jussie was a member of Daniels’ cast on Fox’s show, Empire, for five seasons, and fans were convinced his fall-out with Daniels was over the scandal. However, the real reason they clashed was due to R. Kelly.
An insider who spoke with the aforementioned outlet claimed Lee and Jussie haven’t been speaking at all, and they don’t have a relationship anymore. The source claimed it was “tense” between them even before he was accused of faking a hate crime against himself.
Apparently, Daniels wanted Kelly to write songs for Smollett’s Empire character and even told the actor that Kelly could work on his record. The source claimed Jussie wasn’t happy about the recommendation. He “put his foot down.”
(A representative on the behalf of the Fox Network claimed Kelly never wrote for the series and Daniels didn’t ask him to work on it either.) Additionally, sources explained that Smollett would regularly complain about Daniels to Fox executives.
Daniels felt very frustrated by Jussie’s behavior because he thought it would be better if Jussie would speak to him in person, rather than covertly discussing issues with executives behind Daniels’ back. As it was previously reported, Smollett was charged with lying to the police after he supposedly told them he was attacked during an early morning walk to a Chicago Subway.
After an investigation, police officials claimed Jussie hired Nigerian-American men to assault him in the streets, but charges were eventually dropped. The public’s reaction to the case was aggressive on social media, but sources close to Jussie say he is innocent.
The insider said to the outlet that Jussie has been incredibly upset about the entire ordeal, especially after just making it onto a big hit series. Jussie didn’t need to self-sabotage his career, the source remarked, adding that the actor didn’t feel it was necessary to “stage anything at all.”
In response to the allegations, Daniels released a statement claiming the reports of his relationship with Jussie were false, and he never worked with R. Kelly.