The "Empire" star's ex-wife is calling BS.
Just this morning, we reported that Empire star, Terrence Howard's, found himself in trouble with the federal government. Howard is currently under criminal investigation for criminal tax evasion, and police are looking into possible tax-related crimes committed by the actor and his third wife Mira Howard, as well as her company, Mira Bridges Inc. Howard was hit with a tax lien (which stemmed from taxes he allegedly owed in 2010 as well as interest and penalties for the delay in payment) earlier this year for a total of $143,538.61, as well as a warning that his property and assets could be seized if he didn't clear his debt.
Now, news from The Blast sees Howard allegedly using his pending criminal investigation for tax evasion to avoid paying his ex-wife the million dollars she claims he owes her. According to the court documents obtained by the website, Michelle Ghent - Howard’s second wife from 2010-2013 - is still trying to collect on a settlement the two had agreed to, back in 2013. Terrence recently filed documents in the case trying to move the date of an upcoming hearing because of the investigation opened on him.
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The actor's lawyer argues that "[Michelle]’s allegations against [Terrence] are directly correlated to the criminal investigation” continuing, “clearly‚ [Terrence]’s income, what he did or did not do with it, and any actions allegedly taken by third parties and/organizations with regard to [Terrence]’s income are relevant to a criminal investigation related to [Terrence]’s taxes. Moreover‚ any information regarding [Terrence]’s income and ability to pay is directly related to the criminal investigation. [Terrence] and Mira Howard reasonably believe that the answers to any questions with regard to the [Michelle]’s allegations against [Terrence] and [Michelle]’s relief sought in this matter may tend to incriminate him or her in the criminal investigation.”
But Michelle believes this is just another ploy by Terrence to avoid paying her what he owes, claiming that the star has “engaged in procedural maneuver after procedural maneuver in an attempt to renege on his obligations under the settlement and judgment thereon causing Michelle to expend hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys fees in the trial and appellate courts.”
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Michelle also claims that Terrence is taking things a step further by “attempting to make use of his own criminal conduct to shield himself” from her attempts to enforce the judgment, arguing,"[I]t appears to be Terrence’s contention that because he has managed to get himself into trouble with the federal authorities this somehow prevents this Court from ruling” on her request. Her attorneys claim that Howard and his fiancée waited a week-and-a-half after they “had been informed that he was under federal criminal investigation for tax evasion, and until the date of his current wife’s deposition in this matter to inform Michelle and her counsel of his over-reaching position.”
Michelle’s legal team stands by their belief that his tax status has nothing to do with the upcoming hearing, and should proceed as planned, despite his objections.