Empire's Terrence Howard has broken his silence on Jussie Smollett being arrested for allegedly staging a hate-crime against himself.
Howard, who plays Smollett's on-screen father, Lucious Lyon on the hit drama series, shared a video of the actor with a baby, alongside the following caption:
“All your lil homies got you… We love the hell outta you ♥️.”
A fan commented that Howard was supporting a "lying felon," prompting the actor to expound as follows:
“The Jussie I know could never even conceive of something so unconscious and ugly,” he said.
“His innocence or judgment is not for any of us to decide. Stay in your lane and my lane is empathy and love and compassion for someone I’ve called my son for five years."
"It’s God’s job to judge and it’s ours to love and hope, especially for those that we claim to have loved. There’s nothing more harmful than a fake friend!”
Howard's post and subsequent comment comes just days after Smollett was charged for filing a false police report.
The actor was forced to surrender his passport, keeping him in Chicago as the investigation is still ongoing into what actually transpired.
Fox stood by Jussie Smollett before he was charged, but the network later opted to oust the actor from the final two episodes of Empire Season 5.
"The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us," the statement read at the time.
"Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family for the past five years and we care about him deeply."
"While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out."
The statement continues, "We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”
Empire is currently scheduled to return to the air on March 13. It's unclear whether the show could be delayed.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.