Could Jamal Lyon return? It’s not completely out of the question, apparently. During the Sunday, November 10, episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Vivica A. Fox addressed Jussie Smollett‘s absence in the series’ final season.
“That was tough. He’s family, he’s always gonna be family,” the Kill Bill star, 55, said when Andy Cohen asked if she agreed with the decision to not bring him back. “I love him to death. But there was just too much drama surrounding the circumstances.”
The host, 51, then asked if she was still in touch with Smollett, to which she answered, “Of course,” before teasing that it’s possible he’ll be back on the show before it wraps.
“Who knows? Don’t count him out,” she stated. “Y’all may see him.” That said, she did later add, she hasn’t yet read the script for the finale — they’re only about halfway through the season right now.
Smollett, 37, was written out of the final episodes of seasons 5 after he claimed he was attacked by two men in January; he was later accused of making up the attack and was charged with creating a false police report. However, in March, all 16 felony charges were dropped.
“Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29,” his attorneys told Us Weekly in a statement at the time. “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.”
In June, creator Lee Daniels confirmed on Twitter that the actor would not be appearing at all in the final season. “Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire,” he responded to a report that claimed writers were preparing for Smollett to come back.
Smollett’s character, Jamal, tied the knot at the end of season 5 and went on his honeymoon with Kai (Toby Onwumere). When season 6 began, it was revealed that the couple decided to stay in London, which explains their absence in the final season.
Empire airs on Fox Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.