EMPIRE star Terrence Howard has defended Jussie Smollett after the actor was dropped from the show for allegedly staging a racist street attack.
Howard, who plays music mogul Lucious Lyon on the Fox series, supported his onscreen son in an Instagram post on Saturday night.
Getty Images – Getty Empire star Terrence Howard has defended Jussie Smollett after the actor was dropped from the show
He shared a video of Smollett playing with his own son Hero on a private plane with the caption: “All your lil homies got you…We love the hell outta you.”
It came a day after Empire producers announced that Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon, would be removed from the final two episodes of the season “to avoid further disruption on the set.”
Seven episodes were already completed before Smollett, 36, was charged on Thursday with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly faking his own hate attack in Chicago.
The actor claimed he was beaten up by two strangers who called him a “f****t,” a “n****r” and shouted, “This is MAGA country” before dousing him in bleach and throwing a rope around his neck.
HOAX ATTACK CLAIMS
Chicago authorities claim he plotted the bizarre scheme to bolster his own career and get a raise.
Smollett has denied it was a hoax and has told cops he has an “untreated” drug problem.
He has also been accused of sending himself a note containing a cartoon figure strung up by a noose and cut-out letters spelling: “You will die, black f*g”.
Smollett claimed the note was a threat before two Trump fans in MAGA hats shouted racist and homophobic abuse and punched him last month.
The Empire actor could face three years in jail after he was sensationally charged with staging the elaborate street assault so he could play victim.
After being released on bail on Thursday, sources told TMZ that Jussie arrived late on the Empire set and then begged his cast mates to believe he did not orchestrate the hoax.
PLEADED WITH EMPIRE CAST
“I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls,” he said, according to TMZ.
“I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family. I swear to God, I did not do this.”
Earlier on Thursday, the actor was told to surrender his passport when he appeared in front of State of Illinois Circuit Court Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr.
The judge called the hate-crime hoax allegations against the star “utterly outrageous”.
TMZ claimed that Smollett may have got his “hoax homophobic attack plot” idea from an Instagram post the Empire co-creator shared weeks before.
Director Lee Daniels, 59, posted a heartfelt video on January 10, after his cousin was assaulted because he is gay.
Daniels, who uses the handle theoriginalbigdaddy, told his “gay brothers and sisters” it was “OK to be who you are” and “inevitably right will be done”.
The one minute long video had the caption: “This past week my cousin was beat up for being gay and I am sick of hearing these stories…
“For all the people who are hurting, who are struggling, and who are trying to find some meaning in this life, I am here to say if you need a safe place or a ear to listen, then I’m here.”
STOMACH PAIN-T Grandad, 90, drinks half litre of PAINT thinking it was YOGURT & feels fine ‘RAPED AS SHE SLEPT’ Burglar ‘rapes preteen girl in her bed & her dad wakes to her screams’ ‘PLEASE DON’T KILL ME’ Brit raped in Portugal but attacker walks free from court LAUGHING CHILD MOTHER ISIS sex slave girl pregnant at TEN years old as children raped by 100 jihadis OBESE STAR DEAD ‘My 600lb Life’ TV star who once weighed 65 stone dies aged just 29 KELL IN A CELL R Kelly ‘doesn’t have any money’, lawyer claims as he fails to pay £77k bail BOX UNCLEVER Tyga ‘reaches for gun’ as he’s kicked out of Floyd Mayweather’s birthday party LEFT TO CHOKE Care home staff left patient, 80, slumped over desk to ‘choke on own saliva’ ‘I’M FAMOUS NOW’ Shamima Begum brags ‘fame’ got her plush tent but jihadis want to BURN it ROT IN HELL Mum, 22, who let her baby rot to death in maggot-infested swing jailed for life
The TMZ report claimed Daniels told his cast members more about the attack on set, and they left were visibly upset.If Smollett was looking to tug at Daniels’ heartstrings, he appeared to initially be successful.
On January 29, the day of Smollett’s alleged hoax attack, Daniels tweeted, “We got this,” accompanied by rainbow and black hand emojis.
AFP or licensors Jussie after being arrested and charged with lying to authorities about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago
EPA Jussie looked drained as he emerged from Cook County Court in Chicago earlier this week
Instagram Lee Daniels, left, appears with Ola Osundairo who was released without charge in relation to the alleged hoax attack
Smollett said he received a threatening hate letter warning ‘you will die black fag’ but cops say he sent it himself
AP:Associated Press In this courtroom sketch, Smollett, appears in from before Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr
AP:Associated Press Smollett, right, leaves Cook County jail following his release
Getty Images – Getty Empire creator Lee Daniels, next to Mariah Carey and James Packer at 2016 GLAAD Media Awards
Twitter Empire director Lee Daniels shared this image of Jussie on Instagram after the attack but deleted it
BackGrid Tearful Jussie Smollett gave a TV interview claiming he was assaulted by two racist thugs
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