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Terrence Howard opens up about deadly stabbing involving his father

The actor witnessed his father stab a man to death at only 2-years-old.

By Wade Sheridan
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Terrence Howard opens up about deadly stabbing involving his father
Actor Terrence Howard arrives for the 45th NAACP Image Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California on February 22, 2014. File Photo by UPI/Ken Matsui | License Photo

CLEVELAND, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Actor Terrence Howard recalled the tragic events that sentenced his father to prison on manslaughter charges Monday.

The 46-year-old star sat down with Rolling Stone and opened up about the 1971 incident as well as his tumultuous career.

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The "Santa Line Slaying," as it's referred to, involved Terrence and his father, Tyrone Howard, visiting a department store in Cleveland so that a 2-year-old Terrence could meet Santa Claus. Tyrone got into a scuffle with another man in line, Jack Fitzpatrick, which ended in the latter's death.

Terrence recalls watching his father stab a man to death with blood splattering all over his coat.The confrontation happened in front of dozens of other families with children. Tyrone was arrested and served 11 months in prison, at which point he was paroled for good behavior.

"My daddy taught me, 'Never take the vertebrae out of your back or the bass out of your throat. I ain't raisin' sheep. I raised men. Stay a man,' " Howard recalls. "But being a man comes with a curse because it's not a society made for men to flourish anymore. Everything is androgynous, you know? The more successful men now are the effeminate."

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Terrence also shared his views on his hit show Empire and how he views his character Lucious Lyon.

"Everything I do with Lucious is still me," he says. "I just change the vibration. Because Lucious has a very base understanding of life – kill or be killed – I keep him down at a very low frequency."

Surprisingly, Terrence's ex-wife Mira Pak was present for the interview in light of reports that the couple had separated in August 2014 and then officially divorced in July of this year.

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