Restraining Order Granted Against Terrence Howard

Oscar-nominated actor accused of abuse

By Access Hollywood
|  Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011  |  Updated 9:18 PM EDT
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Restraining Order Granted Against Terrence Howard

Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard has been hit with a restraining order barring him from contacting his estranged wife.

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Terrence Howard was ordered Tuesday to stay 100 yards (90 meters) away from his estranged wife after she claimed the Oscar-nominated actor repeatedly threatened and hit her during their marriage.

The star denies the allegations.

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Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon granted the stay-away order sought by Michelle Howard after she filed a lengthy declaration alleging abuse began within a week of the couple's January 2010 marriage.

Michelle Howard filed for divorce a year later.

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

In a text message last week, she claims Howard, 42, has repeatedly hit her and threatened her. She stated in a sworn declaration that she is in constant fear of Howard and has chronic health issues caused by the actor's treatment.

Howard in his own sworn declaration wrote that he has never threatened his wife and that she has repeatedly vowed to ruin his reputation and release private details.

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"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.

Michelle Howard wrote that Howard has hit her several times and threatened to throw her from a hotel balcony in South Africa last year. She included a text message she said he sent to her on Thursday in which he begged her not to pursue the divorce and threaten his career, ending the missive, "I can't promise how I will respond."

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Howard wrote in his filing that he immediately followed up the message with another text stating that he wasn't threatening her.

"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.

Howard appeared in the first "Iron Man" film and received an Oscar nomination in 2005 for his role in "Hustle and Flow."

His attorney Christian Markey III did not immediately return an email message seeking comment.

Copyright 2011 by Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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