A Los Angeles judge has reportedly ordered “Empire” star, Terrence Howard, to pay his ex-wife Michelle Ghent a total of $1.3 million in unpaid spousal support plus interest.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Helen Zukin ruled that Howard, 50, owes Ghent $263,137 in back spousal support and another $1,055,970 due to his pay raise on the Fox series “Empire.”
Still To Come: Ghent had filed court documents earlier this month, asking the court to overrule Howard’s claims
According to TMZ, the actor earns about $250,000 per episode, more than double what he made when the show debuted in 2015.
This latest ruling comes six years after Howard refused to obey a 2013 divorce judgment entered in the case between him and Ghent, something Judge Zukin reportedly pointed out.
“This has gone on long enough. The Court of Appeals determined it’s a valid judgment, and it’s time to enforce that judgment. If there had been compliance initially, none of this would have been necessary.”
Besides the payment he is now expected to make to Ghent, Howard will likely be turning over more millions after the judge rules this week on the fees he must pay to Ghent’s attorneys. According to NY Daily News, that should come to about $1 million.
The “Hustle & Flow” star reportedly argued that he deserved a stay in the divorce back-and-forth, refusing to turn over any documents reflecting his updated income that might affect the criminal case.
The judge, however, went ahead with the ruling after Ghent’s divorce lawyer, Karen Donahoe, reminded the court that “Empire” premieres its sixth and final season next month.
“We need to have the monies held. He’s in the last year of his contract. This is the last bulk of money we can reasonably get before it disappears.”
Ghent had filed court documents earlier this month, asking the court to overrule Howard’s claims and go ahead with the divorce proceeding. Weeks later, she now has her victory.
Howard was married to Ghent from 2010 to 2011 when she filed for a divorce that was finalized in 2013. The actor was previously married to Lori McCommas, with whom he shares three children.
In 2013, Howard married his third wife, Mira Pak. They share two sons. In 2015, Howard and Pak got a divorce, but in December 2018, the actor proposed to Pak again.