Bridgeport guest ‘Empire’ actor: ‘Hopeful’ that reports against Smollett are false

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

Just days after prosecutors pegged “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a liar and accused him of staging his own homophobic attack, a Bridgeport teen who won a guest role on the show says he is hopeful that the reports are false.

News 12 Connecticut first reported about 19-year-old Theo Wilson last year after Lee Daniels, the creator of the show “Empire,” personally selected the Bridgeport teen to appear on the show.

RELATED: Bridgeport resident lands guest role on TV show 'Empire'

Wilson, who struck up a friendship with actor Jussie Smollett, tells News 12 that he strongly supported Smollett when the story first surfaced that the actor had been assaulted by two men as part of an attack on his race and sexual orientation.

Now Wilson says he is holding out hope that the reports are false and that Smollett's claims of innocence are true.

“When I first heard the allegations, I was upset, disappointed…sad, a little heartbroken,” says Wilson. “You know, I looked up to him as a mentor, a family friend."

Wilson's dad, Robert Rickard, says during and after filming in Chicago, Smollett came to be a mentor to Wilson.

“If he is found guilty, it's terribly disappointing," says Rickard. “We will forgive him, but it will be hard." 

MORE: 'Empire' actor charged with making false police report

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."