Terrence Howard To Pay $1.3 Million In Back Spousal Support
At a court hearing Friday, Terrence Howard was ordered to pay his ex-wife a whopping $1.3 million in overdue spousal support.
According to reports from New York Daily News, a Los Angeles judge refused to grant the Oscar-nominated actor another delay and instead ruled that he owes second wife Michelle Ghent $263,137 in back spousal support and another $1,055,970 due to his surge in income while playing Lucious Lyon on Empire.
Howard did not attend the hearing, but Ghent hugged one of her lawyers and smiled after her victory in the six-year-long saga. Judge Helen Zukin said Ghent and her lawyers were “forced” to litigate the case for years because Howard refused to pay a divorce judgment that was entered back in May 2013.
“This has gone on long enough,” the judge said on Friday. “The Court of Appeals determined it’s a valid judgment, and it’s time to enforce that judgment.” Zukin also set a follow-up hearing for next week to rule on the hefty attorney fees Howard must pay to Ghent’s lawyers, which are expected to top another $1 million. “If there had been compliance initially, none of this would have been necessary.”
Howard’s lawyer, Gary Fishbein, argued repeatedly that it was premature for the judge to make her rulings. He also said the actor is under criminal investigation in Pennsylvania and deserved a stay in the divorce battle because he couldn’t testify or submit an updated income and expense declaration due to his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The investigation centers on possible financial fraud and tax evasion, according to court filings.
Howard and Ghent were married in January 2010 and she filed for divorce a year later.
The actor accused Ghent of trying to extort him after their split, but Ghent denied any wrongdoing and ultimately prevailed.