Taraji P. Henson Blasts Terrence Howard Critics Over Alleged Domestic Abuse: ‘Let’s Pop the Trunk to Your Life’

“Empire” star fires back at questions about Howard’s checkered past: “We’re All Human, We Got Flaws”

Last Updated: June 18, 2015 @ 3:02 PM

Say what you will about the Lyons, but they stick together.

Taraji P. Henson, who plays “Empire’s” force of nature Cookie Lyon, went to bat for her leading man Terrence Howard in a recent interview when she was asked about his checkered past.

As this month’s Allure cover girl, her profiler raised questions about Howard’s alleged acts of violence and domestic abuse — several of which have been documented since 2000.

“Let’s pop the trunk to your life and see what’s dysfunctional and what’s bad … at the end of the day, we’re all human and we got flaws and we got shit,” Henson said.

This isn’t the first time Howard’s personal issues have come up in the context of the show. Back in February, when “Empire” showed stunning week-to-week growth in viewership, an Op-Ed in the New York Times noted that Howard deflected his off-camera turmoil in interviews promoting his character Lucious — who is no picnic to the women and children in his life.

Terrence Howard‘s history and public record of physically assaulting women shouldn’t prevent him from getting work as an actor, but how does he then take a lead TV role as a homophobic, sexist, abusive character and not expect or willingly address this history of abuse?” wrote author Rebecca Carroll.

“With every question Howard avoids and paycheck he receives, comes further evidence that the women he hit are not worth as much as his ego and his career,” she added.

“Empire” returns for a second season on Sept. 23. If you want to see the Lyons in action before then, check out Henson and Howard hosting Saturday’s 2015 Guys Choice Awards on Spike TV.