Oscar Nominee Accused Of Spousal Abuse

Actor Terrence Howard -- whose credits include Iron Man and Law & Order: Los Angeles -- is hitting back at allegations that he hits his wife.

Critically-acclaimed actor Terrence Howard -- who earned a Best Actor Oscar nod for playing a pimp-turned-rapper in the 2006 drama Hustle & Flow -- is accused of playing a real-life game of "Whoop That Trick" with his estranged wife.

Howard has been ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from his ex amid allegations that he harassed, threatened and even battered her during their almost two-year union.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon granted Michelle Ghent Howard a temporary restraining order against her famous husband after the frightened bride filed a lengthy declaration alleging domestic violence. She says the abuse began just weeks after the couple's wedding.

Michelle, a commercial production employee, cited "irreconcilable differences" when she filed for divorce from Howard on Jan. 27. The filing came only one year and one week after the lovebirds tied the knot on Jan. 20, 2010. The bride now claims she's developed chronic health issues as result of vicious beatings at the hands of Terrence, 42.

The soon-to-be former Mrs. Howard says the Iron Man actor is verbally abusive, has hit her several times and threatened to throw her off a hotel balcony during a trip to South Africa last year.

"Despite my efforts to remove myself physically from (Howard's) life, his periodic mood swings from anger, threats and violence to statements of love and requests for reconciliation continue and have not subsided," she wrote in legal documents filed this week.

Terrence, for his part, denies ever abusing his ex.

"I live in constant fear of Michelle's endeavors to ruin my reputation; even providing this declaration may well lead to my being subjected to a paparazzi blitz which would not be good for my career," Howard wrote in his own sworn declaration to the court.

Terrence says that the abuse claims were concocted by Michelle in an attempt to secure a hefty alimony settlement from him. According to Howard, his wife has even threatened to sell a video of him singing naked in the shower if he refuses to open up his wallet to her.

The restraining order will remain in effect until a Jan. 17 court hearing.

This, of course, isn't the first time Howard has come under fire for his allegedly explosive temper.

In August, the former star of NBC's Law & Order: Los Angeles left a threatening message on a stranger's voicemail, mistakenly believing the man had been secretly chatting with Michelle.

"N**ga, you been calling my wife… If you call my wife again I'm going to come to your house and I'm going to cut your f***ing throat," a livid Terrence bellowed in the now-viral message. "Understand that. I'm gonna tell you this one time. You call my wife again, I'm going to kill you."

In another rage-related incident, Terrence was arrested by Pennsylvania cops in September 2001 for assaulting his first wife, Lori McCommas. While McCommas was speaking with a police dispatcher, Howard "showed up at the victim's residence and began breaking the door down."

He eventually grabbed his wife's left arm and "punched her twice with a closed fist in the left side of the face," according to a report from the Whitemarsh Police Department unearthed in 2009. When authorities responded to the scene, Howard admitted, "I broke the door down and hit my wife."

In 2003, the couple divorced after 14 years of marriage. They remarried in 2005 -- but split again two years later.

Image courtesy WENN.com

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