Terrance Howard has struck gold once again starring as Lucious Lyon on FOX’s hit show Empire. Howard has also started in a plethora of other successes such as the box office hits Crash and Hustle & Flow. Howard sat down with Rolling Stone and opened up about his troubled childhood. When Howard was 2 years old, he witnessed his father Tryone, then 21, stab a man as they waited in line to see Santa Claus.
His father got into an argument with another father at a Cleveland department store while in line to see Santa Claus. The other father accused Tyrone of cutting in front of he and his three children with three children of his own, including 2 year old Howard. The argument escalated and somehow Tyron got a hold of a nail file and stabbed the other father and then fled the scene leaving behind Terrance, his siblings and his mother Anita. The crime made national news and became known as ” The Santa Line Slaying”. Terrance reminiscences on that moment saying:
“I was standing next to my father, watching. Then stuff happened so quickly- blood was on coats, on our jackets- and then my dad’s on a table and then my dad is gone to prison.”
Tyrone served 11 months in prison for the crime. Despite the prison sentence, Howard and Tyrone still maintained a relationship. His father taught him a lesson that he still remembers til this day.
” My daddy taught me, ‘Never take the vertebrae out your back or the bass out of your throat. I ain’t raisin’ sheep. I raised men. Stay a man’. But being a man comes with a curse because it’s not a society made for men to flourish anymore. Everything is androgynous, you know? The more successful men now are the effeminate.”
Now, as an adult, Howard is no stranger when it comes to run in’s with the law. In 2001, Howard was arrested for slapping his wife.
” She was talking to me real strong, and I lost my mind and slapped her in front of the kids. Her lawyer said it was a closed fist, but even slapping her was wrong”.
Empire, season 2, premieres on Fox September 23rd at 9pm.