It has been rumoured that Jussie Smollett’s Empire character could be recast or even killed off amidst the ongoing court case over his ‘fake hate crime’ attack

The 36-year-old actor is facing 16 Class 4 Felony charges for disorderly conduct for filing a false report that he was the victim of an assault in Chicago with two men allegedly beating him and shouting racist and homophobic slurs.

He was later arrested with authorities claiming he staged the attack on himself.

Now Variety is reporting that his return to the FOX show is up in the air because ‘many options are on the table’, and it is ‘possible the character could be killed off or the role could be recast’.

Jussie Smollett is due back in court on Thursday, March 14, 2019.