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Arts and Entertainment

Judge Says Terrence Howard's Ex Blackmailed Him With Nudes

Terrence Howard (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
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Sometimes, Los Angeles court cases are weird. For example, a judge threw out actor Terrence Howard's divorce settlement because he concluded that his ex-wife was blackmailing him by threatening to leak nudes and tell everyone he gave her an STD. Actor Terrence Howard (Empire, Hustle and Flow) married his second wife, Michelle Ghent, in January of 2010. The two had a tumultuous marriage that lasted about one year before Ghent filed for a divorce that was finalized in 2013. Today, L.A. Superior Court Judge Thomas Lewis decided to throw out the settlement Howard agreed to, which involved giving Ghent portion of his earnings, including those from FOX's Empire. Lewis wrote that Howard had been pressured into the agreement by Ghent's threats to release personal information, photos and videos of Howard that "if revealed, would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities to be deeply embarrassed," according to City News Service.

According to court documents, Ghent was holding more than a few things over his head, TMZ reported. She reportedly had nude photos and videos of him, recordings of him having phone sex with other women, and threatened to tell everyone that he gave her an STD. He also caught her via a secret recording saying, "I can make a good $2 million right now. You want to see your little [penis] out there in front of TV?"

Lewis did not ignore the fact that Ghent had been granted a restraining order against Howard after she alleged that he had physically abused her abused her, but said that domestic violence did not mean she wasn't capable of extortion. "Terrence Howard is a bully," he wrote. "Just because you're a bully doesn't mean you can't be bullied." Howard has always denied that he was ever abusive, according to PEOPLE.

While Howard and Ghent's divorce remains intact, each party's attorneys will have to hash out new agreement. Howard said he "could not be any more pleased by today's ruling."

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After divorcing Ghent, Howard married model Mira Pak in late 2013, but those two didn't last long either. Pak filed for divorce in March and it was finalized in July, shortly after the birth of their son, Qirin.

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