'Empire' creator calls Jussie Smollett his 'son,' says he 'can't judge' actor's alleged actions

"Empire" creator Lee Daniels is still standing by Jussie Smollett, whom he considers family, while the actor faces legal drama for his role in an alleged hate crime hoax.

While Smollett has remained mainly mum on the saga since all of the charges were dropped by the Cook County State Attorney’s Office in March, Daniels is speaking up on his behalf. The 59-year-old TV and film writer said he wants Smollett to know that he'll always have a support system.

“What I am learning right now is I can’t judge, that that judgment is for that man wearing that black coat with gavel and God. I can only support him because he is like my son, he is my son, so I am with him, I can only support him and give him compassion," Daniels told Extra on Tuesday.

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In late February, "Empire" show executives announced Smollett's character had been cut from the final two episodes of Season 5 amid the investigation. His future on the series still remains unclear, though his co-stars appear to be optimistic about his return.

Taraji P. Henson, who plays one of the lead characters, Cookie Lyon, on the series seemed certain Smollett would make a comeback.

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“Yes. I haven’t heard anything else. I haven’t heard anything," Henson said during an appearance on "The View" earlier this month, adding that she talks to Smollett "all the time" and everyone is "doing well."

AzMarie Livingston, who plays Chicken on the hit Fox series, also said she was eager for Smollett to get back to work.

 “What I am learning right now is I can’t judge, that that judgment is for that man wearing that black coat with gavel and God."

— Lee Daniels

“I’m happy his charges are being dropped and look forward to seeing Jussie on set and his character Jamal back on 'Empire,'” Livingston told People in March.

Daniels acknowledged that the case has impacted the show's stars.

“The cast is upset, it is a sad time and we are slowly healing,” he told Extra.

Earlier this month, the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against the "Empire" star for the cost of investigating the highly publicized case after Smollett refused to pay for any overtime police spent on the matter. The city said that it now — at a minimum — wants triple the $130,106 it initially asked Smollett to pay.

The lawsuit doesn’t specify an amount of money the city is seeking but does indicate it wants over $390,000 plus “further relief as this Court deems just and equitable.” It also asks that Smollett be ordered to foot any legal bills Chicago incurs in suing him.

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Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo, the two brothers who say they helped Smollett stage an against himself, also sued the "Empire" actor's attorneys this week, accusing them of defamation by continuing to insist publicly that the brothers carried out a real, bigoted attack on Smollett despite knowing that wasn't true.

"We have sat back and watched lie after lie being fabricated about us in the media only so one big lie can continue to have life," they said. "These lies are destroying our character and reputation in our personal and professional lives."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.