Taraji P. Henson Looking Flawless for Allure, Defends ‘Empire’ Co-Star Terrence Howard

'Empire's' Jussie Smollett Comes Out
Empire's Jussie Smollett appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

Now this is how to strike a pose. Cookie would be proud.

Empire star Taraji P. Henson covers the July issue of Allure magazine and touches on a number of topics including co-star Terrence Howard and dating co-stars.

“I just know him. We trust each other,” she says. When asked about Howard’s legal problems (several women, including two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend, have accused the actor of violence), Henson simply says, “Let’s pop the trunk to your life and see what’s dysfunctional and what’s bad…”

“At the end of the day, we’re all human and we got flaws and we got shit.” I just know him. We trust each other,” she says.

Taraji P. Henson for Allure magazine

There have been lingering rumors that Henson dating Tyrese Gibson, her co-star in the movie Baby Boy. This is what she had to say about that:

“I always wanted to be known for my work. Not who I dated. Not who I slept with…. I have a gift, and my gift is acting,” Henson says. “I started in the business at 26 with a kid, so I was smart enough to know reality from fantasy. I didn’t want to blur the lines. This is a job that I have to do. I cannot get caught up in it. And if I sleep with these guys, why would they want to work with me again?” Why wouldn’t they? “The conquest is up,” she elaborates. “Now I’m just used-up…” she mouths the last word, which, let’s just say, starts with a p.

Henson’s story is one of survival in an industry that both rewards and punishes women who mix work with pleasure. “You have to stay professional. It is a business,” she says. “I’m not letting no knucklehead dude come between my hard work and my money.”

Preach it Taraji.

The July issue of Allure magazine hits newsstands on June 30.