Accusations have flown from both sides in the midst of Howard's nasty split from second wife Michelle Ghent
Though Terrence Howard‘s 13-month marriage to second wife Michelle Ghent has been severed for more than two years, court proceedings today proved the drama between them is far from over.
A slew of revelations about Howard and his ex flooded out of a contentious Los Angeles hearing on Monday that the actor, 46, repeatedly called an “ambush.” At Howard’s many outbursts, Judge Thomas T. Lewis warned Howard that he needed to “learn some restraint” and “cool your jets,” as well as suggesting the Empire star stop making “extemporaneous statements.”
In one recorded phone call presented as evidence against Howard on Monday, he said, “I’ve never been accused of being sane,” and a combination of Howard’s in-person testimony plus phone call recordings and electronic correspondence between the two former spouses displayed a rancorous pile-up of accusations of “crazy” behavior on both sides of the split, including drug use, jealousy and suicide threats.
As Howard compared his and Ghent’s relationship to Romeo & Juliet on the stand Monday, numerous communications from Howard articulated his desire to commit suicide as their situation unraveled.
In 2009, Howard wrote in a text: “I’m sitting here at lunch hoping you’ll call … every minute of every day I feel like putting an end to this miserable existence … every lie I’ve told to you are equal in my mind to putting bullets into a clip and firing them at my future. … I am devastated by my stupidity.”
Another email read, “I couldn’t do anything but sit there [looking] at a f—ing razor blade … I just wanted to die … I’ll look for you in my next lifetime.”
“My heart still belongs to you,” he wrote in one email. “If I had to cut off both my arms to appease the things [I have] done, [I would].”
And in another text message, he wrote, “So if you are planning on living without me, you should have someone put me out of my misery.”
Howard alleged “ongoing” threats from Ghent on Monday. “She was continually attacking me,” he testified, referring to blackmail threats (he later dismissed an investigation into the alleged threats, he said, “to save [his] career”) that he compared on the stand to “the Jews giving in to the Germans [and going] to Auschwitz.”
“I loved her and was also afraid of her,” he said under oath. “Love is a very complicated thing. … I was in love with the person who [was holding me] captive.”
He added that “the only time she wasn’t a threat … was when we were together.”
For her part, Ghent told Howard in a recorded phone conversation: “You’re a great guy – you can be … you are such a good manipulator. … I think you’re crazy … I’ve done things in defense because you’ve hurt me … that last time.”
Howard did not deny using drugs with Ghent, acknowledging that the two had used marijuana, coccaine and ecstasy because “that was the only times [we were happy].”
Howard also testified that he and Ghent had had a threesome.
Multiple texts painted Howard as dangerously possessive after their split: “I will never allow another man to be with you. Whoever tried to take my life will lose his existence,” he wrote in one text. In another: “I will never allow a restraining order or anything to keep me from my wife.”
When questioned about these texts on Monday, Howard countered, “but I did.” He said the texts were sent to keep Ghent from hurting him and cited a violent episode in Costa Rica when Ghent she allegedly Maced him.
Even so, many communications showed Howard’s attempts to rekindle his relationship with Ghent, and the actor himself admitted once telling Ghent that he would leave his third ex-wife – Mira Pak, whom he married in 2013, welcomed a son with in May and divorced this past July – if Ghent would take him back.
“I love you with everything that I have,” he said in one phone recording. “You were my dream come true from the very beginning.”
At times during the proceedings, Ghent’s eyes filled with tears. At one point, she openly wept on the shoulder of a woman sitting with her and when. In a recorded conversation admitted into evidence, Howard told his ex: “I’m a good man,” she responded, “I know. But you are also scary.”