A Los Angeles judge Monday threw out Terrence Howard’s 2012 divorce settlement from his second wife, concluding that the “Crash” and “Empire” actor agreed to it under pressure from his former spouse, because she allegedly threatened to release private information about him, including an unflattering video.
“The case turned on the evidence provided by Terrence through the tape recording of Michelle (Ghent) threatening him and his unrebutted testimony that he felt he had no choice but to sign the agreement,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas Trent Lewis wrote in the 18-page opinion.
Lewis said the 47-year-old Howard felt he had no option but to sign the agreement “whereby he obligated himself to five years and potential in excess of a million dollars of alimony for a one-year marriage.”
Ghent allegedly threatened that she would release phone sex recordings involving Howard and other women, and a video of him dancing nude, according to testimony in a recent hearing before Lewis.
“Michelle had very sensitive photographs and recordings of Terrence that, if revealed, would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities to be deeply embarrassed,” Lewis wrote.
Lewis said that although Ghent was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of Howard, that did not mean she was “incapable of extorting money” from Howard.
“And she did,” Lewis wrote
Howard and Ghent will remain divorced as they and their attorneys start all over again to hammer out the financial terms of a new settlement.
—City News Service