Jussie Smollett’s co-star on Empire is defending him on social media. Terrence Howard, who plays Smollett’s character’s father on the hit show, posted a shot of Smollett playing with a baby and captioned it, "All your lil homies got you… We love the hell outta you."
Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon has been dropped from the final episodes of Empire this year following charges from Chicago police that faked his own hate crime assault. If convicted of the felony criminal charge, he could face incarceration of up to three years.
Some slammed Howard for coming to Smollett’s defense, writing that he is a "lying felon." When Howard saw the backlash, he responded with a lengthy post.
He wrote: "The Jussie I know could never even conceive of something so unconscious and ugly. 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!"
Meanwhile, TMZ is reporting that Smollett has evidence that contradicts the Chicago Police Department’s claim that he paid Abel and Ola Osundairo $3,500 to attack him.
The site has obtained a copy of the check Smollett wrote to Abel on January 23rd, 2019, six days before the alleged attack. The memo line reads, "5 week Nutrition/Workout program Don't Go."
"Don’t Go" is reportedly a reference to a music video Smollett was slated to star in shirtless; he was hoping to drop 20 pounds.
Other texts between the pair show them exchanging workout and diet reports and tips. TMZ opines that while this doesn’t constitute proof that the attack wasn’t staged, in a trial the defense just has to create a reasonable doubt.