When actor Jussie Smollett said he had been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in January, "Empire" co-creator and executive producer Lee Daniels was one of the loudest people to come out in public support of him. In a now-deleted Instagram video, Daniels made it clear that he was fully behind Smollett. However, in a new interview, the writer has had an about-face.

"I'm beyond embarrassed," he recently admitted to Vulture. "I think that when it happened, I had a flash of me running from bullies. I had a flash of my whole life, of my childhood, of my youth, getting beaten."

He then said that he still has "some doubt" that Smollett staged the supposed attack, adding, "I'm telling you that because I love him so much. That's the torture that I'm in right now..."

Smollett, 36, has continued to maintain his innocence when faced with the allegations that he himself orchestrated the attack. Initially, the actor was indicted on 16 felony counts. The charges were dropped by the district attorney before a trial could transpire. However, Chicago police are confident in their conclusion and have released over 2,000 pages of related documents in order to back up their belief.

That seed of doubt has manifested in several ways since the dust settled, including the decision to not bring Smollett back to the Fox drama moving forward. Lee would go on to add, "We weren't there. I can't judge him," which seems to be his ultimate point of view until proven otherwise.

Taraji P. Henson (L) and Lee Daniels
Taraji P. Henson and executive producer Lee Daniels participate in the Fox "Empire" panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California, on Aug. 6, 2015. Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn