Terrence Howard Defends Empire Co-Star Jussie Smollett


Jussie Smollett’s Empire costars haven’t said much about his arrest last week for allegedly perpetrating a hate crime attack hoax. But on Sunday, Terrence Howard came to his defense.

As reported by E! Online, Howard, whose lead character Lucious Lyon is father to Smollett’s Jamal on the Fox drama, posted a video on Instagram of Smollett playing with a baby. “All your lil homies got you… We love the hell outta you,” Howard wrote in the caption. And when a follower called Howard out for supporting Smollett—who is accused of orchestrating a much-publicized hate crime attack on himself in an effort to net a bigger salary from Empire’s showrunners—Howard commented back:

@blshealy sorry you feel that way but that’s the only Jussie that I know. That Jussie that I know could never even conceive of something so unconscious and ugly. His innocence or judgement is not for any of us to decide. Stay in your lane and my lane is empathy and love and compassion for something that I’ve called my son for 5 years. It’s God’s job to judge and it is ours to love and hope, especially for those that we claim to have loved. There’s nothing more harmful than a fake friend. Real talk.

Here’s the post:

Though celebrities and Smollett’s Empire colleagues flooded social media with messages of support following word of the January 29 attack, folks have been fairly quiet as the Chicago police release more and more information about the alleged hoax. On Thursday, Tyler Perry posted an Instagram message saying that he had spoken to Smollett and was “lost for words.”

Smollett, who was written out of Empire’s last two episodes of the season in the aftermath of his arrest, has been charged with a felony.

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