Terrence Howard, best known for his Oscar-nominated performance as a pimp with hip-hop aspirations in Hustle & Flow, is experiencing a different sort of drama these days: His divorce from his wife of one year is shaping up as one to live in infamy as far as celebrity splits go. The Howards have accused each other of physical and verbal abuse, extortion, and threats of more bodily harm in court papers. Although many of their problems appear to have started soon after they were engaged in May 2009, that didn’t stop them from getting married on Jan. 20, 2010.
According to court papers, the honeymoon lasted only a week. By Jan. 27, 2010, Michelle Ghent Howard discovered her husband had a secret second cellphone and a nasty fight ensued. In her court declaration, Michelle Ghent Howard says her new husband “slugged” her in the face and neck. But in his court account, Terrence Howard, 42, says it was his wife who struck him and called him racial slurs throughout their marriage.
Whatever happened, they stayed together another year, separated, reconciled even after she had filed for divorce in January 2011, and then separated again. In a nutshell, Michelle Ghent Howard says Terrence Howard calls, texts, emails, and Skypes her at all hours of the day and night, and threatens to do her physical harm. Terrence Howard, in turn, says she harasses him and has been threatening to ruin his career by releasing audio recordings he had made of conversations with other people in his life before he met her.
Among the biggest revelations in the court file obtained by The Daily Beast are:
1) Michelle Ghent Howard, 35, said she did not know about Terrence Howard’s domestic-violence history until after she had married him. The actor pleaded guilty to charges of disturbing the peace in 2002, after he was arrested for forcing entry into his first wife’s home after they had a phone argument, chasing her into the backyard, and punching her twice in the face, according to police records in Pennsylvania.
2) Terrence Howard said his wife was very jealous and would repeatedly hit him in public if he responded in a friendly way when female fans approached him. She also would threaten to spit on the fans. Throughout their marriage, Michelle Ghent Howard would insult him and call him “bitch,” “monkey,” and the N word. In one instance, he said, she told him, “I never wanted to marry a [N word] in the first place.”
3) After they were engaged in 2009, Terrence Howard said, he offered his fiancée a position within his company as a liaison “between me and the rest of the world.” Two months later, she visited his home in Philadelphia and he asked for her help downloading a conversation he had recorded between the actor and his mother before she died. At the time, Terrence Howard said, he had numerous “Dictaphones” stored in his dresser, containing many private conversations and recordings. When he returned an hour later, Michelle Ghent Howard was in the process of downloading all his files into her personal computer and said she was “organizing.” Terrence Howard said he asked her to erase the files from her computer and she said she would.
Read the rest here.