'Empire' star could lose some earnings to ex-wife


June 23, 2017
Terrence Howard

LOS ANGELES Californian (AP):

A California appeals court reinstated Terrence Howard's divorce judgment involving his second wife after finding the actor was not coerced into signing it.

The ruling could allow Michelle Ghent to claim some of Howard's lucrative earnings from the hit Fox television series Empire.

The three-justice panel of the second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles ruled unanimously to reinstate the judgment that was tossed out by a lower court in 2015.

That ruling said Howard was under duress when he agreed to pay Ghent generous spousal support because he feared she would leak embarrassing information about him.

Howard claimed Ghent made the threat in a 2011 phone call. A year later, the couple agreed to a divorce settlement that paid her significant spousal support.

The ruling says the passage of time negates Howard's claim that he was forced to sign the agreement. The ruling also noted Howard's repeated attempts to reconcile with his ex-wife as showing he was not coerced into the agreement.