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Gabourey Sidibe and Taye Diggs commented on Terrence Howard's Instagram post

By Rachel DeSantis
February 24, 2019 06:06 PM
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Terrence Howard is standing behind Jussie Smollett following his Empire costar’s arrest for allegedly staging a fake hate attack last month.

On Saturday, Howard shared an Instagram video showing the actor, who plays his character’s son on Empire, playing with a baby on his lap.

“All your lil homies got you… We love the hell outta you,” Howard, 49, captioned the post, adding a heart emoji.

In the video, Smollett asks, “How many teeth does he have?” before tickling the laughing child.

“You good? Aww, he’s such a sweet baby,” adds Smollett.

The clip found support in actress Gabourey Sidibe, who commented with three red heart emojis, and Taye Diggs, who wrote, “Atta boy!”

Smollett, 36, was arrested Thursday after the actor was charged with filing a false police report about his alleged hate attack on Wednesday. If convicted of the felony charge, he could serve up to three years in prison.

His bond was set at $100,000, and he was released after posting $10,000. He is next due in court March 14.

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Credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

Smollett has maintained his innocence in the Jan. 29 incident, and his attorneys have promised to launch an “aggressive defense.”

“Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system,” his legal team said in a statement on Thursday. “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.”

RELATED VIDEO: Jussie Smollett Allegedly Paid $3,500 to Stage Attack Because He Was Unhappy with Salary: Police

On Thursday, Chicago police held a press conference in which they alleged Smollett paid $3,500 to stage a “bogus” attack against him to draw attention to himself because he was dissatisfied with his salary. A source denied to PEOPLE that Smollett had any sort of issue with his pay, saying, “There’s never been a dissatisfaction with his salary.”

PEOPLE confirmed Smollett returned to the set of Empire after posting bond Thursday, though the Fox show’s executive producers issued a statement on Friday announcing that the actor’s character Jamal Lyon will be removed from the final two episodes of season 5.

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Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski/AP/Shutterstock

“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” read the statement from Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer. “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.”