EXCLUSIVE: Terrence Howard must pay $909K for attorney fees ON TOP of $1.3 million granted to ex-wife
“Empire” actor Terrence Howard is on the hook for the $909,222 his ex-wife had to spend to enforce their divorce judgment, a judge ruled Friday.
That’s in addition to the $1.3 million in overdue support and interest awarded to ex-wife Michelle Ghent by the same judge last week.
“It has been a tortured route to today,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Helen Zukin said during the lengthy hearing Friday. “Back and forth to the court of appeal, numerous orders to enforce the judgment. I am not at all surprised to see the fees being requested.”
In making her ruling, Judge Zukin granted Ghent’s request to have “assignment orders” sent to “Empire” studio 20th Century Fox, talent agency CAA and Universal Bridges, the company owned by Howard’s third wife Mira Pak.
That means Howard’s earnings held by those companies must be set aside to pay Ghent and her lawyers, the court ruled.
Howard’s lawyer Larry Fishbein repeatedly argued the fees requested Friday were too high, even “insane” in some instances, but the judge largely shot him down, reducing the total by only $50,000.
Judge Zukin said Ghent needed “extremely skilled counsel” to keep pace with Howard’s legal muscle in the “complex case.”
Ghent’s lawyer Sa’id Vakili pointed out that Howard himself previously testified he spent $950,000 for a portion of his own representation challenging the divorce judgment and fighting Ghent’s appeal.
Howard and Ghent were married on Jan. 20, 2010. She filed for divorce a year later. Their judgment was signed in May 2013, before Howard was cast as Lucious Lyon on “Empire,” a hit show now it its sixth and final season.
The couple attempted a reconciliation in Costa Rica in July 2013, but Ghent later claimed Howard attacked her in the vacation home during the trip, punching and choking her.