Terrence Howard reportedly had a complete meltdown on the set of “Empire” after Jussie Smollett was arrested for allegedly staging a hate crime attack on himself.
Sources on the set of the hit music drama tell TMZ that after Jussie turned himself into Chicago Police last Thursday, Terrence had a meltdown and refused to come out of his trailer for most of the day.
According to insiders, Howard didn’t believe Smollett’s version about what went down on the night he claims two masked men hurled gay and racial slurs at him and tied a rope around his neck. Terrance reportedly felt the storynever added up and he often grilled Jussie in order to make sense out of the mess.
After the two Nigerian-American brothers who allegedly helped Jussie orchestrate the attack were detained by police, Terrence reportedly confronted Jussie once again and demanded he come clean.
According to TMZ, immediately after posting bond, Jussie hit up the “Empire” set following his release and addressed the cast and crew, saying… “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.”
But sources now say that Howard was nowhere to be found when Jussie issued his apology. Many of the cast and crew are said to believe he is lying and that’s why producers decided to remove him from the final two episodes of the season.
News of how Terrance really feels about Jussie comes after he posted a video Saturday seems to be in support of his co-star. The clip shows Smollett playing with a baby, along with the caption “All your lil homies got you… We love the hell outta you” (see the post below).
Howard’s online support of Smollett was criticized by many, and when one commenter said Terrance was supporting a “lying felon,” the “Hustle & Flow” star fired off a lengthy response.
“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 real friend!”
Smollett’s co-star Gabourey Sidibe also expressed her support in an Instagram post that was swiftly deleted following his arrest. “I know him, I believe him, I stand with him,” she wrote.