Empire’s Terrence Howard has a message for his co-star, Jussie Smollett: “We love the hell outta you.”
Howard took to his Instagram page to show his support for Smollett, who was recently charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report after claiming he was the victim of a brutal Jan. 29 attack.
While Chicago police allege Smollett fabricated the assault for publicity, the actor has maintained his innocence. He recently told his Empire castmates, “I swear to God, I did not do this.”
Smollett has been dropped from the remainder of the fifth season of the popular show while his case makes its way through the legal system, but that didn’t prevent Howard from defending his friend.
After sharing a too-cute video of Smollett playing with his son, Hero, Howard replied to fans who accused the singer of lying about his assault.
“The Jussie I know could never even conceive of something so unconscious and ugly,” Howard wrote on Instagram. “His innocence or judgment is not for any of us to decide.”
The Best Man star also had a little advice for those rushing to judgment about Smollett.
“Stay in your lane and my lane is empathy and love and compassion for someone I’ve called my son for five years,” Howard wrote. “It’s God’s job to judge and it’s ours to love and hope, especially for those that we claim to have loved.”