Terrence Howard's boss believes he's been unfairly treated like ''some f**kin' demon.''

'Empire' co-creator and director Lee Daniels admits he is fiercely protective of the actor, who was the subject of domestic abuse allegations during his recent bitter divorce battle with ex-wife Michelle Ghent, and he feels really sorry for him.

Alluding to Michelle's court claims the 46-year-old star grabbed her by the neck, pushed her against the bathroom wall and began strangling her before threatening to kill her during a heated argument in 2013, he said: ''That poor boy. [Terrence] ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f**kin' demon. That's a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.''

Meanwhile, Lee is ''surprised'' by the success of the acclaimed TV series, which also stars actress Taraji P. Henson.

He told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the show's season two premiere next Wednesday (23.09.15): ''I'm surprised the show's even on the air right now. You got me, you got Taraji, and you got Terrence Howard. All three of us are bats**t f**king crazy.''

Taraji, 45, loves playing hard-nosed criminal Cookie Lyon on the show and feels she is finally getting the recognition she deserves.

She said: ''So after however many years I've been in this business, I finally have Hollywood's attention.''

And the Oscar nominee could soon be starring in her own spin-off series.

Lee said: ''It's coming...without question.

''Taraji was what I call 'Project Royalty' because in the projects, honey, she is royalty. She was Meryl Streep in the streets; it just took a moment for white America to catch on.''