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Terrance Howard's divorce settlement tossed

In an update to a case we last discussed on Aug. 14, actor Terrence Howard has convinced the court to throw out his divorce settlement. The judge ruled that Howard's former wife used blackmail to coerce him into signing the settlement, invalidating the deal.

As we mentioned in our Aug. 14 post, Howard and his ex-wife filed their divorce settlement in 2012. Recently, however, Howard's attorney petitioned the court to overturn that settlement, arguing that Howard only agreed to it under duress.

According to Howard, he signed the deal only after his then-wife called him and threatened to sell private recordings to the media for $2 million. The recordings included tapes of Howard having sex with other women and a video of Howard dancing naked in the bathroom. In addition, she claimed she had contacted the IRS about allegedly improper deductions Howard had taken on his income taxes.

These details emerged during a four-day hearing, along with other lurid details of Howard's life, including accusations of infidelity and physical violence toward his first wife. The terms of the 2012 settlement do not seem to be publicly available. But it appears the money involved is substantial enough that the "Empire" actor was willing to risk having these unsavory details of his personal life publicly exposed.

"There's no question in my mind Terrence Howard is a bully," the judge said, according to the Associated Press, but "just because you're a bully doesn't mean you can't be bullied." Now, it appears, the divorce will be reopened.

Overturning a divorce settlement can be difficult, but as with any legally binding contract, neither party should be forced into any agreement under threats.

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