“Empire” star Terrence Howard broke down in court while recounting how his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, threatened to release intimate tapes.
“I was terrified of her releasing the private tapes,” the Associated Press reported an emotional Howard said on Friday. The actor added she had videos of him in “intimate settings.”
Howard said the threats made during the couple’s 2012 divorce settlement would’ve ended his career. He’s now trying to overturn the settlement agreed upon, and is arguing he agreed to the terms while under duress.
Things got even more emotional when Howard was cross-examined by his ex-wife’s attorney about domestic abuse allegations. He asked for a court recess after being asked about allegations of violence against women.
The lawyer flashed a photo of his ex-wife with a black eye, soliciting an admission from Howard that he struck Ghent out of anger, but he didn’t abuse her and only struck her in self defense.
Howard testified Ghent made private videos of him and threatened to release them during their engagement after finding out he’d been unfaithful with multiple women.
“I loved her,” Howard rationalized regarding why he stayed with her despite her blackmail. “I thought she had perhaps made the threats out of anger.”
Howard claimed Ghent had recorded his last talk with his mother, phone sex he had with other women, and recordings of songs he created.
Howard’s “Empire” co-star Taraji P. Henson recently backed him up against critics: “Let’s pop the trunk to your life and see what’s dysfunctional and what’s bad … at the end of the day, we’re all human and we got flaws and we got shit.”
The couple’s divorce settlement left Howard holding the bag on several debts and payment of a share of his earnings in spousal support.