Terrence Howard has broken his silence about his former “Empire” co-star Jussie Smollett being convicted of staging a hate crime.
The actor was found guilty on five felony counts of disorderly conduct last week for making false police reports after he staged a fake attack against himself in Chicago in January 2019.
In an interview on Mark Vargas’ “Mark My Words” radio show, his co-star confessed that his feelings about the verdict are complicated as Smollett played his son on the show for six years.
“It’s interesting, it’s an uncomfortable question because anyone that’s aware of the show or my relationship with Jussie would know that Jussie is, for six years, he was my son,” he explained. “He was my son that I had the most difficulty with on that show as far as the character world goes. So you end up getting very close to individuals that you have the most struggle with. Whose characters you have the most struggle with.”
The Academy Award nominee reiterated that he and his family “love” the actor but ultimately respect the jury’s decision in the trial.
“They judged him and found him guilty, 12 of them that judged from a completely unbiased position… you have to respect that,” he continued.
Howard concluded by noting the potential “ugly” outcomes of the situation, saying the 39-year-old’s hoax had the potential to “set the world on fire.”
“If they had gotten away with it, whoever orchestrated it. Whatever was set up. If they got away with it, then we would have the potential of Blacks feeling like they need to defend Black people against MAGA (Make America Great Again), and it could have turned into something very, very scary and very ugly” he said. “People would have gotten hurt and killed, and if that was the case, the blood on someone’s hands would have been massive.”