Terrence Howard came out on top Monday — but not unscathed — when a Los Angeles judge tossed out the actor's 2012 divorce agreement with second wife Michelle Ghent.
In doing so, however, Superior Court Judge Thomas Trent Lewis reviewed facts that came to light in the case, according to Associated Press, and declared for the record, "There's no question in my mind Terrence Howard is a bully." That said, he added that bullies can be bullied too.
In addition being branded a bully, Howard saw details of his personal life — infidelity in his second marriage, allegations of physical violence with his first wife, and the under-the-radar divorce of his third — made public in the course of the four-day hearing.
But, personal dish aside, "the evidence of extortion or duress was unrebutted," Lewis said.
The good news for Howard is that at present, Ghent no longer has any claim to his "Empire" earnings. The couple will have to negotiate their agreement. In the wake of his new show's success, she'd wanted more than the $5,800 a month her ex was paying her, TMZ said. They were married for 13 months when she filed for divorce in February 2011, and she got a restraining order against him later that year. The split was finalized in May 2013, but she got another restraining order against him that August after an alleged incident in Costa Rica.
The "Hustle & Flow" actor had gone to court claiming that in 2011, Ghent had threatened to release embarrassing phone-sex audio of him talking to other women and video of him dancing naked in a bathroom, unless he agreed to her financial terms.
Ghent didn't testify because her attorneys hadn't gotten a sworn declaration from her in advance of the trial, AP said. The lawyers denied she had extorted her ex-husband and argued that Howard hadn't proved his case.