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The “Empire” cast and creator were super busy in NYC yesterday. On top of attending the FOX Upfronts, Lee Daniels was honored at Family Equality Council’s 2015 “Night At The Pier” event. Also, a few “Empire” cast mates along with Shonda Rhimes, Aja Naomi King, Samira Wiley and more hit up an afterparty. Peep the pics inside….

“Empire” creator Lee Daniels was the man of the hour as he was honored at Family Equality Council’s 10th annual Night at the Pier held at Pier 60 last night. The soiree was put together to recognize LGBTQ parents who are striving for family equality. And his “Empire” cast Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett and Ta’Rhonda Jones came out to support.

The Academy Award nominated filmmaker brought his partner Jahil Fisher and his son Liam Daniels (his biological nephew whom he adopted) along on the carpet. Lee also adopted Liam’s sister Clara, so he is the proud parent of two children.

And what’s a red carpet without snapping a few selfies with dad.

Before heading inside, he also posed it up alongside film producer Bruce Cohen, his son Liam, his current partner Jahil, casting director/Lee’s former partner Billy Hopkins (the man he was with when he became a father) and his mother Clara Watson.


Taraji and Jussie paid tribute and praised Lee for his extraordinary works over the past 15 years in the industry and being a positive role model in their lives. Jussie said,

“I now know what it means to have an amazing, gay father.” He added, “He’s made me more of a truthful man.”

“Cookie” also spoke a few touching words about the writer/director saying,

“I want to thank you, Lee, for using your talent for changing lives and allowing people to be who they are,” adding that the show “can be a voice for people who don’t have a voice.”

Lee took the stage and brought up his son Liam, ex-partner Billy Hopkins (in the blue shirt), his mother Clara and his current partner Jahil (not pictured) up on stage with him. While giving his acceptance speech, he credits his children for keeping him sober and focused on his dream. He said,

“I was not saving them, they were saving me,” Daniels said of adopting his incarcerated brother’s two kids, Clara and Liam, while still addicted to drugs. “Since then I’ve been sober.”

Nice. Congrats Lee!

In other EMPIRE news….three YBF celebs as been confirmed to make cameos in the upcoming season of the hit ABC drama series. According to Variety, unnyman Chris Rock, R&B songstress Alicia Keys and rocker Lenny Kravitz will be coming to season 2! Now word on their roles, but we’re here for it.

At another event….

“How To Get Away With Murder” star Aja Naomi King came out to party it up at the Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE celebration of The New York Upfronts at The Highline Hotel last night. She posted it up, looking cute in printed A.L.C. frock paired with Kurt Geiger heels, alongside her “HTGAWM”co-stars Karla Souza and Liza Weil. If you havent’s heard, the crime thriller series has been picked up for season 2.

Co-star Alfred Enoch was also on the scene.

ABC series creator Shonda Rhimes came out to party with the ABC actors and others.

“Empire” star Trai Byers kept it sexy on the carpet.

Trai’s co-star and rumored girlfriend Grace Gealey brought the fab in a strapless fuchsia jumpsuit by The 2nd Skin Co.

Breakout star Jussie Smollett was also in attendance. Jussie, Trai and Bryshere Gray’s ESSENCE magazine June 2015 cover was released today. Stay tuned for their sexy shots.

“Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jesse Williams kept it dapper on the carpet.

“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” host and actor Terry Crews stepped out in his boots for the party. Since his time is up on “WWTBAM,” Terry has landed a new gig where he will host the unscripted comedy series “World’s Funniest Fails,” inspired by the best “epic fail” viral videos.

And he seems excited about it.

Actor Wesley Snipes, who signed on with NBC for a new series titled “The Player,” also came out to celebrate.

“Orange Is The New Black” star Danielle “Taystee” Brooks, who stars in a new feature with Glamour Magazine, made a bold statement on the carpet. The award winning Netflix series will be returning for season 3 on June 12th.

“Grey’s Anatomy” stars Jason Winston George and James Pickens Jr. snapped a few flicks with a friend.


Aja and “OITNB” star Samira “Poussey” Wiley caught up with each other and snapped a cute pic.

Jesse and Jussie chopped it up with “Grey’s Anatomy” star Sarah Drew during the festivities.

ShondaLand keeps expanding. A new series titled “The Catch,” produced by Shonda, was just picked up by ABC, making it her fourth series on the network.

And Danielle got the chance for a photo-op with President Fitzgerald Grant aka “Scandal” star Tony Goldwyn.

Fab times!

Photos: Getty

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