There have been a lot of questions as to why Jussie Smollett would allegedly stage his own attack, leading many people (including the Chicago Police Department) to assume the motives lies in a salary dispute. But, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, reports began to surface that contradict this notion.
According to TMZ, Smollett never gave the Empire executives or producers the impression he was unhappy with his pay. Sources explain that if Smollett was disgruntled about his salary, then he kept those feelings to himself. And although his rumored salary of $125,000 per episode is significantly less than household names Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, it mirrors that of Bryshere Y. Gray who plays Hakeem.
This combined with the fact Smollett was in the middle of a long-term contract with the series casts doubts on money being the motive. The confusion surrounding the case has reportedly disrupted the set's chemistry. It is said that many have doubted Smollett since the beginning and are wondering why he would do it. This includes Terrence Howard.
Despite publicly supporting Smollett, TMZ reported that Howard and Smollett got into an argument regarding the attack. After being annoyed with the story, Howard came to a head when Abel and Ola Osundairo were detained by police. He reportedly confronted Smollett demanding he tells the truth. Also, Howard was not in attendance on Thursday, Feb. 21, when Smollett addressed the cast.