In light of Jussie Smollett’s impending six-figure lawsuit, fellow Empire star Terrence Howard may be falling into financial trouble as well.
According to official records retained by The Blast, the State of California Franchise Tax Board claimed Howard owes $143,538.61 in outstanding taxes for 2010, including interest and penalties for being overdue. The Board slapped him with a lien earlier this year. If Howard does not settle his outstanding debt, the document stated that the government will commence confiscation of his property and assets.
The actor has a history of considerable debts, as he reportedly owed the IRS $1.1 million in 2010 and more than $600,000 for 2006. These claims were both eventually settled.
Last year, The Blast reported that Howard had found himself in financial hot water again when ex-wife Michelle Ghent filed legal documents that claimed the Fox star was concealing his income from her and owed Ghent an additional $1 million in back support.
According to the documents, Howard made a total of $9,675,000 during his tenure on Empire, pulling in around $175,000 an episode. Ghent accused him of transferring his salary to her company as compensation for “management fees,” which left his stated income at around $109,000 a year. She claimed that due to Howard hiding his profits, the amount owed to her could surpass $2 million.
EXCLUSIVE: "Empire" star Terrence Howard has allegedly owes $140k in back taxes. https://t.co/51JAGPOjhO
— The Blast (@TheBlastNews) April 5, 2019
In the midst of the Smollett scandal, the actor, who plays Lucious Lyon in the cable drama, has stood by his embattled co-star. In February, The Blast reported on an Instagram post of Howard’s in which he came to Smollett’s defense, writing that he and his fellow cast members love him despite the controversy.
In his response to the disapproval directed at the post, Howard didn’t budge in his support of the Empire star.
“Sorry you feel that way but that’s the only Jussie I know. The Jussie I know could never even conceive of something so unconscious and ugly.
“His innocence or judgment is not for any of us to decide. Stay in your lane and my lane is empathy and love and compassion for someone I’ve called my son for 5 years. It’s God’s job to judge and it’s ours to love and hope, especially for those that we claim to have loved. There’s nothing more harmful than a fake friend! Real talk.”
The City of Chicago is currently in the process of launching a civil lawsuit against Smollett to force the performer to pay back the $130,000 city officials spent for the investigation of his alleged attack.
Both actors are slated to return for Season 6 of Empire.