Terrence Howard scored a legal victory in the ongoing battle with ex-wife Michelle Ghent, but he also got burned in the process.
The Empire star, 46, and Ghent have been fighting over spousal support payments. She already receives $5,800 per month but wanted more because Howard's career has taken off since appearing in Fox's hit show. But the judge in L.A.'s Superior Court has decided to rule in Howard's favor, tossing the spousal support agreement that he claimed was signed under duress. Upon making his decision, however, he criticized Howard's character.
"Terrence is a bully, but that doesn't mean he can't be bullied. Terrence has an unrelenting pattern of styling himself as the victims of rampant racism and unfair allegations about him," the judge wrote in documents obtained by E! News. "A very accomplished actor, Terrence tried to minimize his conduct in past events including an incident on a Continental airline flight. However poorly Terrence may have acted in other settings, he was the only witness to testify concerning the telephone call between Terrence and Michelle."
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Finding evidence that showed that Michelle "exerted coercive control over Terrence," the judge ruled that Terrence's claim "that he felt threatened" was "credible."
Ghent issued a response, also obtained by E! News, to the judge's ruling via her lawyer, writing that she and her legal team were "disappointed" with the outcome. "Despite specifically finding that Terrence Howard was a 'bully' who was not credible in multiple respects, the Court granted Mr. Howard's request to set aside the judgment," Ghent's attorney wrote.
"We are, of course, disappointed with the Court's ruling today. Both during and after their marriage, Mr. Howard physically beat and emotionally abused Michelle Ghent, establishing a pattern that continued throughout the marriage resulting in the issuance of multiple domestic violence restraining orders against him."
According to the statement, Ghent is "evaluating her legal options and is considering challenging the Court's ruling."
Ghent previously sued Howard for assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation.
Howard hasn't returned E! News' request for comment.