Terrence Howard reached national acclaim last year when he starred in the
smash hit TV show, Empire. And like his character, Lucious Lyon, he was
having issues with his real ex-wife, Michelle Ghent. But instead of a
fun firebrand like his TV wife Cookie, the judge in the case — Calif.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Trent Lewis — said that Ghent was someone
who extorted and coerced Howard into giving her ‘blood money’
and a chunk of his newfound Empire fortune.
According to the Associated Press, Howard contended 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.
Judge 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."
Howard called it "blood money,” and told Lewis that leaking
the information at the time would have ended his acting career. In Ghent’s
defense, her lawyers said that the 2012 settlement was signed because
of his history of violence with her, something Judge Lewis understood.
"There's no question in my mind Terrence Howard is a bully,"
Lewis said. But the judge also said: "Just because you're a bully
doesn't mean you can't be bullied."
Judge Overturns Terrence Howard Divorce Settlement (ABC News)
Image via Wikimedia Commons.