With some time passing since Johnson's hefty accusation, a source within the show’s producing unit has reportedly revealed that they were not in any kind of salary negotiations with Jussie. Therefore, looking for a bigger paycheck may not have been motivation for an alleged staged attack.
According to TMZ, Empire "production sources" explained that none of them were approached by Smollett or his team regarding his salary, further fueling claims that Johnson's validity may be questionable.
They further added that if the actor was dissatisfied with his earnings, he never voiced that sentiment to those who could implement that change. He was reportedly in the middle of a long-term contract and the executives, who ultimately would have the final say regarding his salary, reportedly claim that neither he nor his reps asked for more money.
Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox drama, was reportedly earning $125,000 per episode, which was said to be "on par" with his younger on-screen brother played by Bryshere Y. Gray. Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, the two leading stars of the series, reportedly earn $250,000 per episode.
This news comes shortly after a report refuting the Chicago PD's claim that Smollett paid the Osundario brothers $3,500 to carry out the January 29 attack. In the latest developments, it was reported that the check written in that amount was actually for a "5 week Nutrition/Workout program."