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Terrence Howard has accused 20th Century Fox officials of using his likeness from Hustle & Flow to promote their hit show Empire for six seasons while he was employed as a cast member.

In the lawsuit, the actor, who played Lucious Lyon on all six seasons of Empire, says bosses at Fox TV failed to offer a satisfactory answer when he asked how they came up with the Empire logo - since he never sat for a photoshoot.

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Fox TV

He says he ultimately determined the image was taken from the Hustle & Flow scene where "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" was being recorded in a studio, explaining: "The still frame was selected, reversed (face looking left, not right), and subjected to CGI that simply distilled the cinematographer’s skilled capture of the head with vibrant light and shadow."

Howard insists he should be compensated for use of the image as he would have been paid by officials at Paramount - the studio behind Hustle & Flow - if 20th Century Fox got a proper license to use his image from the movie.

He's suing for damages and wants an accounting of all the Empire merchandise using the logo, according to TMZ.

He didn't explain why he waited until the TV series was canceled to file his lawsuit.

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Photo: Fox TV

Jussie Smollett may return for Empire's finale cliffhanger as the soap opera musical comes to an end in early 2020.

According to WENN.com, the disgraced actor could return for the sixth and final season cliffhanger if the showrunner gets his way.

Jussie's potential return to Empire for the finale is "being discussed", the showrunner has revealed.

The 36-year-old actor played openly homosexual singer/songwriter Jamal Lyon on the series. He is pictured above in a scene from Empire season 5.

Jussie was written out of the final two episodes of season 5 after he was arrested in Chicago for filing a false police report alleging he was the victim of a hate crime perpetrated by Trump supporters.

Empire producer Brett Mahoney told TV Line that the effeminate actor could be making a comeback as the series draws to a close.

"It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part of without seeing him," Mahoney said. "It's fair to say it's being discussed, but there's no plan as of yet to bring him back. There's been no decision made."

Jussie's former co-star Vivica A. Fox also suggested he could be returning to the series.

Speaking about creator Lee Daniels' decision to cut Jussie out of Empire, Vivica told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live last month: "That was tough. He's family. He's always gonna be family. Love him to death. But there was just too much drama surrounding the circumstances."

Vivica added: "I love him. And who knows? Don't count him out. Y'all may see him."

When Andy asked "On Empire?", the screen star responded with a coy fluttering of her eyelashes.

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Jussie Smollett is reportedly suicidal after his character, Jamal Lyon, was axed from Fox TV’s soap opera Empire next season. Variety.com reports Empire was renewed at the final hour on Tuesday. 20th Century Fox executives negotiated a contract extension for Smollett, but decided not to bring his character back next season.

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Empire creator Lee Daniels shared the cast reaction to Jussie Smollett's ongoing criminal case in a video on his Instagram account on Wednesday night.

The fallout continues as Empire's TV ratings crashed to a new low for the 2nd consecutive week.

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Fox Television executives are probably rethinking their decision not to scrub all of actor Jussie Smollett's scenes from the 2nd half of Empire's season 5, which returned on March 13 - nearly a month after the disgraced co-lead star was arrested in Chicago for filing a false police report.

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Actor Jussie Smollett plead not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police investigators about an alleged hate crime. Smollett walked into Leighton Criminal Courthouse with his attorneys and bodyguard for his court appearance on March 14.

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Jussie Smollett

Actor Jussie Smollett may have got the idea for his hoax homophobic attack from an emotional Instagram post by Lee Daniels. The Empire director wrote a heartfelt Instagram post on Jan. 10, after his cousin was assaulted because of his homosexuality.

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