Art really imitates life – the "Empire" crew shoots up their cameras pretty much exactly where their former star, Jussie Smollett insists that he fell victim to a racist and homophobic attack.  FOX had a bunch of crew members from the show who set up a shoot Tuesday in Chicago … literally within a stone's throw of where Jussie says that Osundairo the brothers gave him a clobbering, didn't bleach him and left a rope around the neck.
The set is literally in the shadow of Jussie's apartment building … it is the high-rise building with reflective windows.
There are only extras in these pictures, but it's clear "Empire" is getting ready to shoot something. No word on whether they integrate parts of Smollett's real drama into the show – but this may not be a coincidence … they must know the importance of the place.
You remember … Jussie said he jumped around 2am on his way home from grabbing a sandwich, right near his apartment building on the 300 block of East North Water Street.
This is where the "Empire team had set up camp. To give you a visualization … here is a side by side of the block where the attack is alleged to happen, and where production cars are now
Of course, Jussie was eventually accused of lying and doing it all, and also was prosecuted by a grand jury . He was cleared for all criminal charges, though in a tit to talk to the Cook County State Attorney's Office – but he's not out in the woods yet.
Chicago City sues him for the cost of the investigation and then some, and Jussie is currently in the middle of trying to fight it
Jussie won't be anywhere close to shooting … unless he just wants to meet old friends FOX has already said it has no plans to get him back for the new season.