Terrence Howard is using his pending criminal investigation for tax evasion to avoid, for now, paying his ex-wife the million dollars she claims she is owed.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Michelle Howard — who was Howard's second wife from 2010-2013 — is still trying to collect on a settlement the two sides agreed to back in 2013.
Terrence recently filed documents in the case trying to get an upcoming hearing taken off the calendar because Howard is being investigated for tax evasion.
His lawyer argues, "[Terrence Howard] and Mira Howard’s criminal defense counsel have confirmed that [Terrence], Mira Howard, and Universal Bridges, lnc. are under criminal investigation with regard to tax issues. [Michelle]'s allegations against [Terrence] are directly correlated to the criminal investigation."
They continued, "ClearIy‚ [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. She claims that the "Empire" 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."
Michelle claims 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.
She argues, "[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 Terrence 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 believes that his tax status has nothing to do with an upcoming hearing in the case and it should proceed as planned, despite his objections.
As The Blast first reported, Terrence Howard is currently being investigated by the federal government for criminal tax evasion.
The actor has brought on a criminal attorney to defend him in the investigation and we're told federal investigators have already had initial discussions with Howard.