“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who was reportedly the victim of a vicious attack early Tuesday morning in Chicago, turned down an offer from Fox a week earlier to provide extra security, TMZ reports.
Smollett “didn’t want to be encumbered by an entourage of bodyguards when he wasn’t working,” the story reports.
“Sources close to the situation tell us … security for the ‘Empire’ cast was increased last week after Fox Studios, in Chicago, received that threatening, homophobic letter addressed to Smollett,” TMZ reports. “We’re told Fox made the call to beef up security for everyone on set and wanted to give Jussie additional protection around the clock … but, he declined. Our sources say he made the decision to not have extra security during off-hours because it was an intrusive way of living.”
TMZ adds: “Our ‘Empire’ production sources tell us Jussie will have 24/7 armed security going forward … at least until the 2 thugs are apprehended.”
The report notes that Smollett, who sat out production on Tuesday, plans to return to the set soon, with the shooting schedule expected to be shuffled as needed.