According to Page Six, the actor’s role in the upcoming second season of hit series will be scaled back because of his recent divorce proceedings, which illuminated his alleged history of domestic abuse.
The season one finale of Empire saw Howard’s character arrested for murder, a plotline designed specifically for this reason, the insider says.
“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.”
One welcome side effect of the news: Taraji P. Henson’s character Cookie Lyon will be pushed to the forefront, the insider adds. “She’s going to start dropping off from the flashback scenes and then they’re going to have her guns blazing,” said the source.
Howard is embroiled in a bitter divorce case with ex-wife Michelle Ghent, and also quietly divorced his fourth and most recent wife, Mira Pak, earlier this year. The couple welcomed their son Qirin in February.
In other news, Deadline.com reports Serayah, who plays Tiana Brown, is promoted to a season two regular. Last season, she only appeared in six episodes, but this season, which premieres September 23, we will see much more of the up and coming actress. Check out BETs interview with her below!