Terrence Howard, star of the hit television show Empire, took the witness stand in a Los Angeles courtroom recently. Howard’s time on the stand was very brief because the judge stopped the proceedings in order to rule on a legal issue.
The case is the divorce proceeding between Howard and his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent. Howard alleges that Ghent used extortion to force him to execute a 2012 agreement that provides her with alimony and other financial benefits. Howard also claims that Ghent threatened that she would leak a sex tape and naked pictures of him if he refused to agree to her demands.
During a recent deposition, Ghent denied that she blackmailed Howard. However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas Trent Lewis listened to a 2011 audio of Ghent criticizing Howard while threatening to sell the video of him dancing naked in the bathroom.
Judge Lewis called a recess in the proceedings to make a determination on whether the Oscar-nominated actor should be permitted to testify regarding conversations he had with Ghent while a divorce settlement was being finalized in 2012.
As Howard began testifying regarding the settlement agreement, Judge Lewis stopped the hearing to determine the scope of Howard’s testimony. Ghent’s lawyers argued that Howard should not be permitted to testify regarding any conversations the couple had during the four-month period between when the pair was participating in mediation and when it the agreement was signed.
Ghent is making allegations of her own, including claiming that Howard abused her and that he owes her the money that he promised to pay her in the agreement.
The couple married in January of 2010. A year later Ghent filed for divorce. During Howard’s brief time on the witness stand, he misstated the date of their marriage before his lawyer corrected his error.
We will continue to monitor Terrence Howard’s divorce proceeding. If you are facing divorce or you have other family law needs, our legal team is here to help. Contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a caring professional, and aggressive advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child timesharing (custody), and paternity matters.