Actor Malik Yoba adamantly denies he was fired from Empire for drug use and wants an apology from the "rogue" blogger who first spread that fast-growing rumor.
Major spoiler alert: Don't watch the videos or continue reading until you watch Empire online and relive the epic first season that just ended on FOX.
Now that you've been forewarned: Malik's character Vernon dies on the finale, which was quickly followed by rumors that producers wanted him gone.
Reports of Yoba abusing drugs and getting fired from the hit show spread like wildfire, but the 47-year-old actor says he doesn't use ... and never has.
After calling out a Thailand blog for concocting the bogus story, he joked that he probably should've won an Emmy for Empire Season 2 Episode 10.
In that installment, Vernon is reeling from recent events, and begins snorting coke and drinking, looking and acting increasingly under the influence.
It's not art imitating life, though. Just art. Yoba says anyone who worked with him on Empire or at any other point in his 25-year career can attest.
Empire creator Lee Daniels reached out to him and had his back when the rumor began spreading, he says, and any other colleague would as well.
Malik tells TMZ that he spent time and money finding the guy who started the firestorm, and that he promised to post a retraction, which he did earlier today.
So in the end ... Vernon is still dead. Which sucks for Yoba, as the show is insanely popular. But it was simply for creative reasons, not for anything Malik did.
We wish him the best ... and wonder where his demise will rank among some of these other infamous, noteworthy TV character deaths in recent memory: