Terrence Howard finally has received some good news, after an emotional time in court to try and prove he was coerced by his ex-wife into signing the divorce settlement.
It paid off and a judge overturned the divorce settlement with his second wife, finding the actor was threatened by Michelle Ghent.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Trent Lewis’ ruling means Howard and his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, will now need to renegotiate the financial terms of their divorce.
Judge Lewis stated, “The evidence of extortion or duress was unrebutted”.
Howard said he signed a 2012 settlement to end his marriage to Ghent out of fear she would leak private details about him, including phone sex recordings with other women and a video of him dancing naked in a bathroom.
The settlement entitled Michelle to a share of Terrence’s earnings, which would include a portion of his salary from the hit Fox series ‘Empire,’ which opens its second season in the fall.
Ghent’s lawyers have said she denied extorting the actor in a deposition and argued he didn’t prove threats she made in 2011 forced him to sign the agreement a year later.
She was not allowed to testify at a recent hearing because her attorneys did not file a sworn declaration from her before the proceedings began.
Judge Lewis presided over a four-day hearing that revealed numerous private details about the Oscar-nominated actor, including that he had cheated on Ghent during their engagement, he was physically violent with his first wife, and he has already divorced his third wife.
Lewis also heard a 2011 call in which Ghent berated Howard and threatened to sell private information about him if he didn’t pay her money by the end of the day.
Howard’s accountant sent Ghent $40,000 in response to the call, which he called ‘hush money.’
The Hustle & Flow star called it “blood money”, telling the judge the leaked information would have ended his acting career.
Ghent has accused Howard of multiple instances of domestic violence and has an active restraining order against the actor.
His career has resurged since the debut of ‘Empire,’ which has been a big hit on Fox.
Howard spent four days in court during a recent hearing, testifying for portions of three of those days.
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