Terrence Howard, Michelle Ghent-Howard

Fame Pictures

Terrence Howard and his ex-wife may have been on good terms when they left on a family vacation to Costa Rica, but all seems to have gone horribly wrong since.

The actor's ex, Michelle, secured a temporary restraining order against Howard today, alleging that the Red Tails star attacked her last week after she told him that she was no longer interested in a reconciliation, according to court documents obtained by E! News.

Michelle filed for divorce in February 2011 after about a year of marriage, but their split was not finalized until May. Howard was ordered to pay Michelle $6,000 a month in spousal support.

In a declaration included in today's filing, Michelle states that she told Howard on July 28, while in Mal Pais, Costa Rica, that they should go their "separate ways." He got angry and they argued that night, she says.

On the night of July 29, the filing continues, Howard followed her into the bathroom of their rental house and began verbally taunting her, saying he wouldn't pay her "one cent" and had never agreed to their divorce judgment.

"I said that he was like his father, verbally abusing me and bullying me," Michelle stated in the declaration. "Respondent immediately sucker punched me on the left side of my face." She further alleges that he also grabbed her by the neck, pushed her against the wall and "continued to strangle [her] for several seconds." Michelle states that she broke free but then Howard grabbed her one more time by the neck before she could finally leave the bathroom. 

She states that Howard's son-in-law, Billy, rushed into the bathroom to help her and, while Billy was "trying to pry [Howard's] hands from [her] neck," Howard made what she took to understand was a threat on her life. Michelle states that she was closing up her luaggage when Howard charged toward her and she sprayed pepper spray in his direction and it ended up getting everywhere, "so we were all coughing." She then drove to her sister's rental house, where they called police.

Michelle's filing includes several close-up photographs of apparent bruises on her arms and face.

Howard, meanwhile, alleges in his objection to the restraining order that they were having a "normal married fight" but Michelle "got too worked up and started to scream and threatened to kill me and my family," and then used pepper spray "to attack my children and my son-in-law."

The actor states that, after Michelle "exited," they washed their eyes for 45 minutes and went to the police, who in turn referred them to the Court of Domestic Violence of Cobano. He further states that his ex-wife "tried to commit suicide in New Jersey" two months ago and was later "hospitalized and diagnosed with paranoia."

Howard's 18-year-old son, Hunter, states in a deposition included with the filing that he never saw his dad "hit or strike Michelle."

Howard states in the filing that he fears what Michelle is capable of, given her "mental instability/paranoia as confirmed by her admitted suicide attempt and 'insanity.'"

He claims that the photos "purporting to be of her with bruises or marks on her body," allegedly put there by him, are "part of her plan and scheme to destroy [his] reputation or to get money from [him]."

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