Tabloid reports suggested the Hustle & Flow star would appear less in the upcoming season, because of his recent divorce settlement case, and according to the New York Post, Howard's story line, which begins as his music mogul character Lucious Lyon starts a jail sentence for murder, was a move to give the actor less screen time amid his personal woes.

A source said, “What they are doing is two-fold. They have him locked up so you won’t be seeing him in as many scenes. But they are bringing in so many, and I mean so many, guest stars and cameos that the average viewer won’t realise it because there is so much going on.”

However, a representative for the show tells Access Hollywood, "Rumours that Terrence's role in Empire will be scaled back are patently untrue, as audiences will see when the series returns on Wednesday, September 23 on Fox."

Howard recently scored a legal victory against his ex-wife Michelle Ghent, when a judge overturned his financial divorce settlement.