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Actor Terrence Howard sues his agents for fraud over "Empire" role

Actor Terrence Howard sues CAA saying he wasn't paid properly for "Empire" role
Actor Terrence Howard sues CAA saying he wasn't paid properly for "Empire" role 01:01

Terrence Howard Friday filed a lawsuit against Creative Artists Agency LLC, alleging the talent agency fraudulently convinced him to take less money for his "Empire" role.

"Despite this feeling of trust, it would be years later that Howard would discover that CAA ... placed their own financial interests, as well as the interests of the production companies they also represented, ahead of his own," the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit states.

Although Howard -- who appeared at a news conference on Friday with his attorney to announce the suit -- knew that CAA was packaging the project and receiving a fee, he was unaware of the conflicts of interest CAA was faced with by not only having their own financial interests incorporated into the project, but in also representing the actors and the production companies, the suit states.

While the  producers want to keep the top line production budget as low as reasonably possible, actors want to be paid the maximum value for their work, the suit states.

Howard, 54, seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. A CAA representative could not be immediately reached.

"Empire" had a debut pilot that reached nearly 10 million viewers, marking Fox's highest rated debut in three years, the suit states.

"As a result, "Empire" was an instant success, not only exceeding the network's viewership expectations, but also bringing in significant praise by critics throughout the entertainment industry, the suit states.

Howard's film roles include "Crash" and "Hustle & Flow."

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