Superior Court Judge Thomas Trent Lewis overturned the settlement, meaning that Howard and Michelle Ghent will have to come to a new agreement about the financial terms of their separation. Until they do so, Ghent has no rights to any money Howard earns from his starring turn on Fox's Empire.
Lewis said that Ghent extorted the settlement from Howard, threatening to leak details about his private life unless he agreed to her terms. As part of the agreement, which was signed in 2012, she was entitled to a portion of his Empire salary.
During a four-day hearing in which Howard was seeking to overturn the settlement, it was revealed that he had quietly divorced his third wife, Mira Pak, in July, though Pak appeared next to him in court every day of the hearing. Ghent, who has sued Howard for assault and has a restraining order against him, did not testify during the hearing. But her lawyers claimed that Howard cheated on her during their engagement, and was physically violent with both Ghent and his first wife.
"I could not be any more pleased by today's ruling," Howard said in a statement, as reported by the AP.