This image released by Fox shows Jussie Smollett, left, and Terrence Howard in a scene from the "The Depth of Grief" episode of "Empire," which originally aired on Oct. 31. Smollett’s co-starring role in “Empire” may end up being the pinnacle of his career, industry observers and insiders said as the actor faces criminal charges that he faked a hate crime against himself. (Chuck Hodes/Fox via AP)

Terrence Howard has shown his support for Jussie Smollett after it was announced he would be cut from 'Empire'.

The 49-year-old actor has spoken out in defence of his co-star - who is being investigated over reports he orchestrated an alleged homophobic and racist attack on himself - following the news producers have decided he will not be returning to set to shoot the final two episodes of the drama.

Terrence shared a video of his son Hero playing with Jussie on a private jet, and wrote on Instagram: "All your lil homies got you... We love the hell outta you"

Producers are keen to "avoid further disruption" to the show, and so have simply written Jussie's character, Jamal Lyon, out of the finale.

Producers including Lee Daniels and Danny Strong said in a statement to The Blast: "The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our 'Empire' family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. 

"While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out.

"We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of 'Jamal' from the final two episodes of the season."

Jussie appeared in court on Thursday (21.02.19), where he was ordered to pay a $10,000 bond and surrender his passport after being arrested on felony charges of filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.

After the hearing, he headed straight to the Cinespace Studio in Chicago where he became "very emotional" as he maintained his innocence in a speech to the cast and crew of the show.

He reportedly said: "I'm sorry I've put you all through this and not answered any calls. I wanted to say I'm sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family. I swear to God, I did not do this."

Jussie was later praised by his legal team as a "young man of impeccable character" in a statement that hit out at the way the investigation has been handled.

The lawyers said in a statement: "Today we witnessed an organised law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system. 

"The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election. 

"Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing."