CHICAGO—Another “Empire” actor has been arrested in Chicago, but this time on a traffic-related offense.
Police spokeswoman Karie James said on June 17 that Bryshere Gray, who plays a younger brother of Jussie Smollett’s character on the Chicago-based Fox TV show, was pulled over on June 13 because a temporary license plate didn’t match the 2014 Rolls Royce he was driving. She says he was arrested on a misdemeanor registration charge and ticketed for driving an uninsured vehicle and failure to carry a driver’s license.
James says the 25-year-old Gray isn’t in custody, but it wasn’t immediately clear when he was released. Chris Alexander, a publicist for 20th Century Fox Television, didn’t immediately reply to a message seeking comment.
Smollett was arrested earlier this year on charges alleging that he had lied to police when he claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in January. Prosecutors later dropped the charges.
Smollett ‘Will Not Be Returning’ to ‘Empire’
Police said that Smollett orchestrated a hate crime hoax in January in order to get a higher salary on the show, where he was one of the main stars. He was since removed from some of the episodes and has not been signed for season 6.
Lee Daniels, the show’s co-creator, initially vowed to support Smollett after the actor claimed he was attacked by two supporters of President Donald Trump in Chicago on Jan. 29 on the street in the middle of the night amid a polar vortex.
Daniels took to Instagram to decry people questioning the veracity of Smollett’s story, which later came crashing down when two Nigerian-American brothers told police he’d paid them to fake the attack.
But Daniels now says that Smollett will definitely not be back on “Empire.”
‘Empire’ Writers Prepping for Jussie Smollett’s Return in Season 6 (EXCLUSIVE) https://t.co/cCMxmOqqmz
— Variety (@Variety) June 4, 2019
He took to Twitter on June 4 after Variety published an article that claimed the show’s writers were “prepping for Jussie Smollett’s return.”
“This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire,” Daniels responded.
— lee daniels (@leedanielsent) June 4, 2019
The article was later updated to focus on Daniels’s comment. It said that “multiple production sources” expected Smollett to return for the second half of the show’s 18 final episodes.
While Daniels has dropped his support for Smollett, a number of his co-stars were pushing for the actor’s return to the show.
Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, and other stars co-signed a letter asking Fox Entertainment, Disney TV Studios, and ABC Entertainment to bring Smollett back to the show.
Executives said on May 13 that the show was canceled, about six weeks after it hit its all-time low for ratings.
The cancellation also came about two weeks after the company renewed “Empire” for a sixth season.
During a conference call with reporters on May 13, Fox CEO Charlie Collier said that the show would be ending after the sixth season.
The executive then said that there were no plans for Smollett’s return.
The Associated Press and NTD reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.