Terrence Howard and Michelle Ghent's Short Marriage and Nasty Divorce — a Quick Recap

Oyin Balogun
Mar 01, 2021
08:20 A.M.
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"Empire" actor Terrence Howard leads a relationship life as complicated as his character's on the show. Learn about his short marriage to his ex-wife Michelle Ghent and their near-decade-long divorce battle.

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Popularly known as "Empire's" Lucious Lyon, actor Terrence Howard has certainly paid his dues in the acting industry. However, his off-screen love life has been just as turbulent, if not more so, than the life of the character he portrayed on the Fox show.

Although unlike Lyon, Howard has not just been married twice but four times. One thing the two do share in common is a complicated and nasty relationship history. 

Michelle Ghent and Terrence Howard pose at the Kari Feinstein Style Lounge on January 21, 2011 in Park City, Utah | Photo: Getty Images

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In 2010, Howard got married to his second wife. Sadly, the matrimonial bliss did not last long as the two soon began a very long march to rivalry and, eventually, a divorce. Find out all about their short marriage and an explosive divorce.

THE BEGINNING: A SECRET WEDDING

Love is a beautiful thing — two people so head over heels for each other that they would do anything to be together. This was the situation with actor Terrence Howard and his second wife, Michelle Ghent. 

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Ghent and Howard's marriage sprung on many as a surprise. Out of the blue, the actor revealed that he was married again years after he divorced his first wife, Lori McCommas. 

Defeated and displeased by the ruling, Howard angrily vowed to get back at Ghent.

In May 2010, the actor suddenly revealed in an interview that they tied the knot in January that year in a private ceremony held in Los Angeles. Although it came as a shock, many wished them well, and thus, the fairytale began, or not.

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TROUBLE IN PARADISE

Just days before what would have been Ghent and Howard's first anniversary, the tabloids were set ablaze by shocking news: Terrence Howard's wife filed for a divorce.

According to reports, Ghent was citing irreconcilable differences as her reason for walking away. Ghent was also asking for spousal support while demanding that her soon-to-be former husband pay her legal fees. The tug of war from there was no joke.

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THE NOTORIOUS DIVORCE 

In December 2011, nine months after their split, Ghent alleged that Howard started abusing her just a week after their marriage and had, at some point, even threatened to end her life.

Countering the claims, the actor filed his own legal papers to deny the allegations made against him. He also alleged that Ghent was blackmailing him.

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Howard stated that she was threatening to release private materials to external parties for her own financial profit unless she received monetary compensation. In May 2013, Terrence Howard's divorce from Ghent was finalized.

Not long after that, they were back in court with Ghent sporting a black eye as she ordered a temporary restraining order against the "Hustle and Flow" star. This was after she claimed that he beat her up during a fight while they were in Costa Rica.

Howard also reportedly filed his own request for a restraining order, claiming that his ex-wife maced him and assaulted his adult daughter as well as another family member. His request was denied.

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THE SHOCKING IN-BETWEEN

Barely months after their divorce was finalized, Howard hurried right on to find love. In fact, he did not just find love, but he went ahead to get married.

The "Iron Man" actor exchanged vows with model and restaurateur Miranda Pak. The two remained wed for two years until 2015, when they got divorced. They had two sons, Quin Love and Hero, before parting ways.

Three years after their divorce, Howard proposed to Pak again in December 2018. This would not be Howard’s first time remarrying an ex-wife as he remarried McCommas in 2005, two years after their initial 2003 divorce.

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THE AFTERMATH

The divorce agreement left Ghent with a lofty placement in spousal support. However, it was not long before Howard turned around to contest the agreement. Aggressively so. 

In August 2015, the actor and his defense reportedly provided audio recordings of Ghent threatening Howard to give her the settlement she requested, or she would release intimate videos of them as well as damaging medical records.

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That same year, she sued him for assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a myriad of other things. The "Empire" actor would later admit that he hit his ex-wives, including his first wife, McCommas, with whom he shares three children.

He blamed it on his troubled upbringing with a violent father. Barely a year later, another party dragged Howard to court. This time, not for marital issues but business.

His former management company, Authentic Talent and Literary Management, sued him, alleging that he owed them two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in unpaid fees. 

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According to them, the actor's personal life and drama had "Empire" showrunners considering dropping him. They stepped in to save him, but he shockingly did not pay them for the service. 

While this battle was going on, his initial legal back-and-forth with Ghent carried on, including revelations that he threatened to commit suicide. By January 2017, Ghent filed papers to dismiss the lawsuit she filed against him two years earlier.

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After a nearly 6-year legal saga, the Ghent-Howard divorce horror story finally seemed to come to an end. In 2019, the actor was vanquished in court after he was ordered to pay his wife a hefty sum.

The court order decreed that he pay her a whopping $1.3 million — $263,137 in owed spousal support and an additional $1,055,970 due to his meteoric rise in income.

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Defeated and displeased by the ruling, Howard angrily vowed to get back at Ghent. He admitted that he would pay, but he did not plan to concede that she was right. He accused her of being deceitful. 

While it seems that news surrounding Terrence Howard's spouse, whoever it may be at the time, is constantly in the tabloids, Howard himself has recently managed to stay relatively out of the spotlight.

Still, his near-decade-long divorce war with Ghent will go down in history as one of the harshest yet, thanks to their many on-and-off legal battles over the years.

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