Those Empire checks are going to come in handy for Terrence Howard. The actor and his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, have been entangled in a bitter court battle for years. Although Howard and Ghent divorced back in 2013, Howard reportedly refused to pay a divorce judgment that was issued in the Spring of that year.

Ghent later filed documents asking the court to order her ex-husband to pay up. On Friday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Helen Zukin did just that and ruled that Ghent should be paid $263,137 in back spousal support. In addition to that lump sum, Judge Zukin also ordered Howard to give Ghent $1,055,970 because his income has greatly increased since becoming the star of Empire. According to TMZ, Howard brings in around $250K per episode.


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"If there had been compliance initially, none of this would have been necessary," said Judge Zukin. Howard wasn't in the courtroom at the time, but that didn't stop the judge from stating that Ghent wouldn't have been "forced" to file this claim had her ex-husband adhered to the previous ruling. "This has gone on long enough. The Court of Appeals determined it’s a valid judgment, and it’s time to enforce that judgment."

This isn't the end of the road for Howard, as next week there will be a ruling on how much he will need to pay to cover Ghent's attorney's fees. The NY Daily News reports that expenses are believed to be excess of $1 million.