Terrence Howard was nearly fired from hit U.S. TV show Empire, a new lawsuit alleges.
The actor’s former managers at Authentic Talent and Literary Management filed a complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging Howard, who hired the agency in 2013, owe them $250,000 in commissions.
Despite Howard having since fired the firm, Authentic bosses claim he agreed to pay them post-termination commission fees in a 2014 email.
Now People have reported that the lawsuit states that Authentic were responsible for preventing Howard’s termination from Empire, through which he has enjoyed a career comeback thanks to his role as Lucious Lyon.
There are no details as to why Howard’s role on the show was in jeopardy, but Authentic bosses claim they “intervened with the Los Angeles-based executives of Imagine and effectively saved Howard’s job on Empire by convincing those executives not to terminate Howard from the show.”
Howard signed a seven-year contract for the show, and Authentic executives assert they are entitled to 10 per cent of his earnings for the duration of the contract, which will expire in 2020.
The lawsuit states: “Authentic Talent played a key role in the resurgence of Howard’s career. In addition to defending Howard and providing professional, personal, and other advice and career guidance to him, along with Howard’s talent agents at the preeminent talent agency CAA, Plaintiff was an integral part of many discussions with Howard that led to his acceptance of the starring role of ‘Lucious Lyon’ on EMPIRE that had previously been procured for him by (talent agency) CAA.”
Authentic claim Howard did make several payments to them through 2015 and 2016, alleging the total amount they received was equivalent to 10 per cent of the gross revenue he made for the first and second seasons of Empire, but these stopped in March 2016.
Howard “has failed to (pay further post-termination commissions) despite having received millions of dollars from Empire and despite being in a position to receive millions more,” the complaint continues. “Howard well knows, and has conceded, that his contract and long-established industry practice require him to pay Plaintiff commissions on an ongoing basis through the duration of his seven-year Empire contract.”