Ghent's lawsuit, filed Tuesday, claims that on July 29, 2013, Howard punched, kicked and strangled her while the former couple were staying in a rental house in Costa Rica. The filing states that Howard "followed Plaintiff into the restroom of the rental house and punched her on the left side of her face. Defendant also grabbed Plaintiff by her neck and pushed her against the bathroom wall and strangled her for several seconds." The actor "grabbed her by her neck again and pinned her against the shower glass and her head hit the wall" when Ghent attempted to flee, the complaint continues.
When Ghent's son Billy attempted to intervene, Howard allegedly whispered to Ghent, "'Remember what I told you in Bora Bora? That is what I'm going to do,' referring to a prior instance where Defendant told Plaintiff that her body would never leave the island," the filing reads. "Plaintiff interpreted the reference to mean that Defendant was going to kill her."
Later that night, Ghent claims she pepper-sprayed Howard in the face when he charged at her. Howard then knocked her to the ground, according to the complaint, where he "repeatedly mule-kicked Plaintiff in the head and shoulders."
In addition to assault and battery, Ghent is also claiming intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and defamation because Howard made "false accusations disseminated to the public through the media that Plaintiff had made death threats and other threats against Defendant and his family through various social media accounts."
Earlier this year, Howard filed suit against Ghent, claiming his ex-wife had attempted to blackmail him by threatening to release photos of his "little d--k."
This is far from the first time Howard has been accused of viciously assaulting a woman. In 2000, he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a Continental Airlines flight attendant after he refused to return to his seat. Howard was arrested in 2001 on charges of assaulting his then-wife Lori McComas. After an argument over the phone, he allegedly kicked down McComas' front door and punched the mother of his children three times in the face. In 2005, the actor allegedly punched a woman and her fiancé because they were seated before him at a restaurant. Ghent's divorce papers from Howard include a litany of abuse claims, starting only one week into their marriage. And one of Howard's ex-girlfriend's also claimed Howard choked her, threw her to the ground and punched her in the eye.
Fox TV group chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman claimed they weren't aware of the accusations against Howard until they were already in business working with the actor on Empire.