The king of the Lyon family and Empire may not be getting a smaller role after all. Terrence Howard's character Lucious Lyon is expected to still be main player on Fox's "Empire" when Season 2 premieres later this month.
Access Hollywood reports that rumors of Terrence Howard's role on "Empire" being reduced due to his personal life are false. "Rumors that Terrence's role in 'Empire' will be scaled back are patently untrue, as audiences will see when the series returns Wednesday, September 23 on Fox," a Fox rep said in a statement to Access Hollywood.
On Aug. 26, Page Six reported Howard’s role on the Fox drama was being cut back because of his recent divorce problems that have been making news. “They have him locked up so you won’t be seeing him in as many scenes. But they are bringing in so many, and I mean so many, guest stars and cameos that the average viewer won’t realize it because there is so much going on,” the source dished.
In a recent legal battle, E! Online reports the judge sided with Howard, determining that the spousal support agreement Howard signed was forced by ex-wife Michelle Ghent, who threatened him. Ghent wanted more money because Howard's popularity has risen due to the success of “Empire.”
The “Hustle and Flow” star told Entertainment Tonight in August he was “sad” at how the divorce has played out in 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.
Howard’s character will start the season behind bars after being arrested in the Season 1 finale for murdering Bunkie (Antoine McKay). Lucious, who is the founder and CEO of Empire Entertainment, was diagnosed with ALS early in the first season and it appeared as though Howard's days on the show were numbered. However, it was revealed that he was wrongly diagnosed.
Lucious, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and the rest of the Lyon family are in for more drama this season as tensions rise among the three Lyon sons -- Andre (Trai Byers), Jamal (Jussie Smollet) and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) for control of “Empire.”
"Empire" Season 2 premieres on Fox on Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. EDT.