Terrence Howard
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Just as season 2 of Empire is about to kick into gear, Terrence Howard is dealing with some real-life drama, which came to a head during court proceedings Monday.

Howard’s second marriage, to Michelle Ghent, in January 2010 lasted only 13 months, but Ghent is attempting to get a judge to grant her spousal support, which Howard is trying to prevent.

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During Monday’s appearance, Judge Thomas T. Lewis had his hands full. Between Howard’s outbursts and Ghent’s sobbing, the proceedings seemed more like a well-scripted television show.

According to the Associated Press, after four days of testimony, intimate details were revealed during closing arguments. Ghent’s attorney released recordings of Howard stating that he loved his ex-wife, even though he was already married to his third. Howard’s attorney released recordings that involved Ghent’s threats to sell provocative information if Howard didn’t pay her money. Those threats resulted in Howard’s paying her $40,000.

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People magazine recounted information from text messages that Howard sent Ghent, in which he seemed to threaten suicide.

“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,” one text from 2009 read.

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Howard also alleged that he was the recipient of violence at the hands of Ghent, too.

“I loved her and was also afraid of her,” Howard testified. “Love is a very complicated thing. … I was in love with the person who [was holding me] captive.”

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He added that “the only time she wasn’t a threat … was when we were together.”

But when they were together, drug use and other activities were involved, according to testimony. “That was the only times [we were happy],” Howard said.

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Judge Lewis called the case messy and emotional, which is probably an understatement. As the proceedings closed Monday, Lewis said he would issue a decision Aug. 24.