Is Terrence Howard's Role in 'Empire' Being Cut Back Due to Personal Drama?

by Emily Krauser 7:45 PM PDT, August 26, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

The star of Empire may be getting a lot less face time on the hit Fox show due to his own personal drama.

Terrence Howard is reportedly getting his role cut back due to divorce proceedings with his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, and previous allegations of domestic abuse, according to Page Six.

NEWS: Judge Overturns Terrence Howard's Divorce Settlement, but Says Empire Actor Is a Bully

Howard plays Lucious Lyon, the founder and CEO of Empire Entertainment, in the record label drama. As one of the main protagonists, alongside Taraji P. Henson, it's hard to tell what a scaled back role will mean for both Howard and his TV character.

Henson's role as Cookie Lyon will allegedly get larger, according to Page Six's source, while Lucious' position in prison as well as the many guest stars that will appear on the show may mean that "the average viewer won't realize it because there is so much going on." Some of those guests include A-list names like Mariah Carey, Chris Rock and Alicia Keys.

At a press junket in Chicago over the weekend, which Howard sat out of, Henson told ET that things with her co-star were "going great," before redirecting the conversation.

Empire was back in production when a judge ruled on Howard's divorce proceedings on Monday. The 46-year-old actor was victorious, as Superior Court Judge Thomas Trent Lewis overturned his divorce settlement with Ghent, acknowledging that Howard was forced to sign the former couple's 2012 agreement under duress after Ghent threatened to leak private details about the actor that included phone sex recordings and a nude video.

"Terrence Howard is a bully. [But] just because you're a bully doesn't mean you can be bullied," Lewis said.

The ruling means that Ghent cannot claim any of Howard's Empire earnings, which was one of the issues contested. The previous divorce settlement gave Ghent several of the former couple's bank accounts, as well as a portion of his earnings.

Last week, Howard told ET at a Los Angeles courthouse that he was "sad that this has to be on a public forum."

"To have your personal life exposed between family and shared with the public, I think is a violation of our privacy, and of our constitutional rights," he said of the family law proceedings.

WATCH: Terrence Howard Opens Up About Emotional Divorce Settlement Hearing

In 2013, Howard denied allegations to ET that he had physically abused Ghent while they were vacationing in Costa Rica. He had also been accused of domestic violence by a previous girlfriend and his first wife, Lori McCommas. He also secretly divorced from his third wife, Mira Pak, in July. Howard and Pak were married in October 2003, and she filed for divorce on March 5, two months before the birth of their son, Qirin Love.