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

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.
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."