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Terrence Howard disputes spousal support

Terrence Howard arrives for the premiere of "Iron Man" in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 30, 2008. (Matt Sayles)

February 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Actor Terrence Howard was in court Tuesday to dispute how much spousal support he should be giving his estranged wife.

Howard and Michelle Howard are in the middle of a divorce.

Michelle Howard says she is ill, suffering from anemia, and is unable to work.

The judge ordered the acclaimed actor to pay her $10,000 in temporary support and $40,000 for accounting and legal fees.

Howard, a one-time Oscar nominee for his role in the movie "Hustle & Flow," is also upset over allegations of physical abuse in the relationship.

In divorce papers, she accuses him of physical violence. At various times she says, he slugged her across the face, and grabbed her "by the neck and threw me across the room." He allegedly told her he would "throw you off this balcony."

He said the allegations have resulted in him not being offered work since September of last year.

Hollywood insider Jeanne Wolf says his concerns are valid.

"In the case of Terrence Howard, when you meet him, he's a very gentle guy," she said. "He talks about his devotion to God. People haven't seen this side of him, and sometimes that's worse because people think, 'We thought we knew this guy.'"

Wolf says there will be damage whether the allegations are true or not.

The actor claims spousal support should be minimal because they were together for just six months, $172,000 "disappeared" from a joint account and that he has only $22,000 in cash.

She claims they were together for 18 months, she only took money from a community account, he must have a substantial cash flow because he has $76,000 in monthly expenses and that he has income from residuals.

He had no comment as he left the courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.

The two are scheduled to return to court for another hearing in April.