"That poor boy."
Lee Daniels, co-creator of the Fox hit Empire, is coming out in defense of his star, Terrence Howard. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Daniels commented on Howard’s long history of domestic abuse allegations.
"[Terrence] ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f**in' demon," Daniels says. "That's a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America."
Daniel’s defense of Howard comes mere days after the 46-year-old actor addressed his ex-wives’ allegations of violence in an interview with Rolling Stone. Of allegedly punching his first wife, Lori McCommas, in 2001, Howard says he “lost [his] mind.”
"She was talking to me real strong, and I lost my mind and slapped her in front of the kids," he admits. Howard, who was arrested following the incident, adds, "Her lawyer said it was a closed fist, but even slapping her was wrong."
As for his second wife, Michelle Ghent, who claimed in a lawsuit that Howard followed her into a bathroom, punched her in the face, and “strangled her for several seconds,” the actor claims self defense.
"She was trying to Mace me," he alleges. "And you can't see anything so all you can do is try to bat somebody away, and I think that something caught her. But I wasn't trying to hit her."
Last month, Page Six reported that Howard’s role as Lucious Lyon was being cut back in Empire's second season due to his divorce proceedings with Ghent and those domestic abuse allegations. For the record, Fox shoots this down in THR as “a silly item.”
Daniels is willing to admit, though, that getting snubbed at award shows does hurt his feelings. Like, as he mentions, when the Academy Awards passed him over for The Butler. Or when Empire was all but shut out at the Emmys -- Taraji P. Henson scored a nomination for acting -- and he posted an Instagram video in response, saying, "F*** these motherf***ers!"
"I don't buy the hype," he says, when asked about expectations for Empire’s sophomore season. "The hype told me I was getting [an Oscar] nomination for The Butler. I bought into it for a second, and then I got my feelings hurt...I know what goes up must come down.”
Now, find out why Henson says she hates Cookie’s ‘Boo Boo Kitty’ catchphrase: