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Chicago's top prosecutor recuses herself from Jussie Smollett investigation

The "Empire" co-star also will not be written off the show.

Jussie Smollett // Instagram

The investigation into the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett continues, as does the national dialogue the situation has sparked.

According to a statement issued by a spokeswoman on Wednesday (Feb. 20), Chicago's top prosecutor, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, has recused herself from the investigation.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case," spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.

While the one-sentence statement does not provide additional context into how Foxx was familiar with anyone involved in the case or what led to her recusal, the office did confirm that her first assistant, Joe Magats, will oversee the case in her place.

Additionally, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment issued a statement amid reports that Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, was being written off the show while the investigation surrounding his alleged attack continues to unfold. The studio shared that Smollett "continues to be a consummate professional on set."

Over the weekend, Chicago police confirmed the "trajectory of the investigation had shifted," leading to speculation that Smollett played a role in orchestrating the alleged attack. Smollett's representatives have since commented on the matter.

"Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying," attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said in a statement Saturday (Feb. 16).

A spokeswoman for Smollett's legal team, Anne Kavanagh, shared they would "keep an active dialogue with Chicago police on his behalf."

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