NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Actors Jussie Smollett (L) and Terrence Howard attend the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Actors Jussie Smollett (L) and Terrence Howard attend the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:36
'Empire' co-star breaks silence on Smollett scandal
Dr. Michael Bolding vpx
Dr. Michael Bolding vpx
Now playing
03:37
Hear doctor's emotional plea for people to get vaccinated
Dr. Fauci NIH research China Tapper sotu vpx _00023404.png
CNN
Dr. Fauci NIH research China Tapper sotu vpx _00023404.png
Now playing
03:13
Dr. Fauci weighs in on if US should collaborate with Wuhan labs in future
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 23: General view inside the stadium as fireworks go off while Naomi Osaka of Team Japan lights the Olympic cauldron with the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 23: General view inside the stadium as fireworks go off while Naomi Osaka of Team Japan lights the Olympic cauldron with the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:22
Tokyo 2020 Games officially underway after yearlong delay
Now playing
07:51
Smerconish: Don't punish the vaccinated
CNN Weather
Now playing
01:43
Flash flooding continues to threaten the Southwest this weekend
Gov. Kay Ivey gives the State of the State Address to a joint session of the Alabama Legislature on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in the old house chamber of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/AP
Gov. Kay Ivey gives the State of the State Address to a joint session of the Alabama Legislature on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in the old house chamber of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Now playing
01:00
Alabama governor: It's time to start blaming unvaccinated folks
Pool
Now playing
02:06
WaPo: This is what Trump's PAC is spending its money on
TMFPD
Now playing
00:48
Crew battling Tamarack Fire makes narrow escape out of fire and flames
Getty Images
Now playing
01:55
'Almost giddy': Author describes Trump during Capitol riot
CNN/KTRK
Now playing
03:07
Keilar rolls the tape on Ted Cruz's 'ironic' message about political stunts
CNN
Now playing
03:06
Nurse says patients in ICU with Covid-19 begging for vaccine
AFPTV
Now playing
01:03
See protesters outside Olympics opening ceremony
Now playing
04:56
Brianna Keilar pushes back on city leader: That's anti-science
US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, speaks at her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, speaks at her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:21
Pelosi explains why she rejected GOP lawmakers from January 6 committee
Getty Images
Now playing
00:54
Nick Jonas injured during NBC Olympics special
Valerie Gordon
Now playing
00:59
Watch cattle flee as California wildfire rages
CNN —  

Actor Terrence Howard is supporting his television son, Jussie Smollett, after he was accused of staging a hate crime attack last month in Chicago.

Smollett plays Howard’s son, Jamal, on “Empire,” a Fox drama about a family dynasty set in the alluring world of hip-hop.

In a post on social media, Howard shared a video of a baby sitting on Smollett’s lap and breaking into fits of giggles when he tickles him.

“All your lil homies got you. We love the hell outta you,” he captioned the video along with a heart emoji.

Howard to fan: Not your job to judge

In one of the comments under the video, a fan criticized him for supporting Smollett, and Howard fired back with a lengthy message defending his decision.

“Sorry you feel that way but that’s the only Jussie I know,” he posted. “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 five 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.”

Smollett was arrested Thursday on a felony charge of disorderly conduct over falsely claiming he was attacked, Chicago police said

Authorities said Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary on the show and wanted publicity when he filed a police report saying two men attacked him and threw a noose around his neck on January 29 in Chicago.

He allegedly staged the attack by paying two brothers $3,500 to target him, police said. The men bought masks and a noose , and the actor directed them on what epithets to hurl when they attacked him, officials said.

Before the alleged attack, Smollett made sure the neighborhood had security cameras to ensure the assault would be recorded, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said Thursday.

“But unfortunately that particular camera wasn’t pointed in that direction,” he said.

Smollett reported the attack to police who investigated it as a possible hate crime. But as the story unfolded over the weeks, it started unraveling with twists and turns that culminated with his arrest on suspicion of filing a false police report.

’Empire’ cast hasn’t said much since his arrest

The show’s main cast has not commented much since Smollett’s role in the attack changed from victim to suspect. But Howard expressed his shock when news of the alleged attack initially surfaced.

Actors Jussie Smollett, left, and Terrence Howard attend the 2018 Fox Network Upfront on May 14, 2018 in New York City.
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Actors Jussie Smollett, left, and Terrence Howard attend the 2018 Fox Network Upfront on May 14, 2018 in New York City.

Smollett has maintained that he did not make up the story, and he has reiterated to the “Empire” cast and crew he was innocent of the charge against him.

His attorneys have said they plan to mount “an aggressive defense.”

“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked,” his attorneys said in a statement.

Under Illinois law, filing a false police report is disorderly conduct and punishable by one to three years in prison. Smollett is due back in court March 14.

Executive producers of “Empire” said last week that while they were waiting for the legal process to play out, they would remove Smollett’s character from the season’s final two episodes.