Terrence Howard’s Role in “Empire” to be Cut Back Due to Personal Drama; Cookie to Get More Limelight

EMPIRE: Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon on EMPIRE premiering Wednesday, Jan 7, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon on EMPIRE premiering Wednesday, Jan 7, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

Terrence Howard’s ongoing personal drama is carrying over into his professional life.

A source tells Page Six that Howard’s role in the upcoming second season of “Empire” will be scaled back because of his recent divorce drama and numerous prior allegations of domestic abuse, which have resurfaced in recent weeks.

On the music drama, the 46-year-old Oscar nominee plays Lucious Lyon, the founder and CEO of Empire Entertainment. At the end of the show’s smash first season, Lucious was arrested for murder, but according to our source, it’s more than a storyline — it’s a calculated move to keep Howard on the sidelines.

“What they are doing is two-fold,” said the source. “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.”

Big names including Mariah Carey, Pitbull, Chris Rock, Ludacris, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz and Marisa Tomei have been confirmed to appear as guest stars on the upcoming season.

Other changes are also in store for the musical drama: Taraji P. Henson’s role as Cookie Lyon will be pushed to the forefront, the insider adds.

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SOURCE: Derrick Bryson Taylor
New York Post

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