Empire and original Iron Man actor Terrence Howard took to Instagram to defend his fellow Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
Howard would post a video of Smollett with a young child. He would caption the video, “All your lil homies got you… We love the hell outta you ♥️.
Deadline notes that Howard would further defend Smollett in the comments.
Howard responded to one person who wrote, “Seriously? You support that lying felon? Still? Even though all the facts are out? If it was a white person staging a black person, would you still support him?! Typical liberal hypocrites. Just lost [all] respect.”
Howard defended Jussie, “Sorry you feel that way but that’s the only Jussie I know. The Jussie that I know could never even conceive of something so unconscious and ugly. His innocence or judgment is not for any of us to decide.”
He would add:
Stay in your lane and my lane is empathy and love and compassion for someone 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.
Smollett was arrested by Chicago police and charged with a felony disorderly conduct charge for filing a false police report.
Jussie Smollett had claimed he was attacked by two men who yelled homophobic and racist slurs at him. He also claimed they shouted, “this is MAGA country” while dumping bleach on him and putting a noose around his neck.
Smollett allegedly addressed his fellow cast mates after he posted bond telling them:
“I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls. 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.”
Empire co-creators and executives issued a joint statement announcing that Smollett’s character would be removed from the final two episodes of the show’s fifth season.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. 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. 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.”
Smollett maintains his innocence. His legal team issued a statement on Thursday night:
“Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system. The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election. Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.”
What do you make of Terrence Howard’s defense of Jussie Smollett? Do you think Smollett’s presumption of innocence has been spoiled?