"I was so proud of that young man that played my son because he still loved me at the end of it and all he wanted to do was get closer to me. Then out of nowhere he's snatched away from us," Howard said about Smollett on Tuesday.
Smollett formerly portrayed Jamal on the series, the son of Howard's Lucious. Smollett did not return for Season 6 after he said in January that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago, however, he was later accused of staging the crime.
Chicago prosecutors dropped all charges against Smollett in March. An Illinois judge named former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb as a special prosecutor in August who will lead an investigation into authorities' handling of the case.
"He was the heart of our show and now it's like our show is on a heart and lung bypass machine because the heart is gone, but we're still hoping that there's going to be a transplant and hoping somehow it will come back together," Howard continued.
"We are all still trying to put the pieces together because my son is gone," the actor said. "That was my little boy and he's gone now and they don't mention him as if it's okay and it's like no, that's not cool."
Howard was honored with the 2,674th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday.