Terrence Howard's Ex-Wife Michelle Ghent Drops Assault, Emotional Distress and Defamation Lawsuit

Actor is accused of assaulting his former spouse during a trip to Costa Rica in 2013

By Alyssa Toomey Jan 12, 2017 10:30 PMTags
Terrence HowardTony Barson/FilmMagic

UPDATE on Jan. 12, 2017: Terrence Howard's ex-wife Michelle Ghent has dropped her 2015 lawsuit against the Empire actor, E! has learned. She filed papers to dismiss the case on Jan. 6.


And the drama between Terrence Howard and ex-wife Michelle Ghent continues. 

According to docs obtained by E! News, the 46-year-old actor's former spouse is suing the Empire star for assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress as well as defamation, claiming Howard assaulted her during a trip to Costa Rica in 2013. 

The complaint alleges that Howard committed "assault and battery" on his ex-wife on the evening of July 29, 2013 and claims that he "followed Plaintiff into the restroom of the rental house and punched her on the left side of her face.

"Defendant also grabbed Plaintiff by her neck and pushed her against the bathroom wall and strangled her for several seconds," the complaint alleges. 

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The filing also claims that Howard "grabbed her neck again and pinned her against the shower glass and her head hit the wall" before Howard's son Billy rushed to the room and tried to restrain him. 

"While Billy tried to pry Defendant's hands from Plaintiff's neck, Defendant whispered to Plaintiff, 'Remember what I told you in Bora Bora? That is what I'm gonna do,' referring to a prior instance where Defendant told Plaintiff that her body would never leave the island," the complaint states. "Plaintiff interpreted the reference to mean that Defendant was going to kill her."

Later that evening, per the complaint, Howard attempted to assault Ghent again, at which point she pepper-sprayed him in the face. "Defendant continued swinging his arms and caused Plaintiff to fall down. While Plaintiff was on the ground, Defendant repeatedly mule-kicked Plaintiff in the head and shoulders," states the complaint.

The filing also alleges that Ghent suffered from multiple contusions and swelling as a result of the alleged battery in addition to bruises all over her body. 

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With regards to the defamation filing, the docs accuse Howard of making "false accusations disseminated to the public through the media that Plaintiff had made death threats and other threats against Defendant and his family through various social media accounts. These accusations are false, and none of the social media accounts below to the Plaintiff."

Howard has yet to respond to E! News' request for comment.  

This isn't the first time that Ghent has accused Howard of being physically abusive. She previously filed a restraining order against the actor back in December 2011, claiming Howard routinely abused her and threatened to kill her. She secured a temporary restraining order in 2013, citing the Costa Rica incident in court docs. 

Howard, whose third wife Mira recently gave birth to the actor's fourth child, does have a history of violence. He was arrested in 2001 on charges that he attacked his then-wife, Lori McCommas. He later pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace, and the couple divorced.

(Originall published on Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 at 12:52 PM PT.)