Terrence Howard on Emotional Divorce Settlement Hearing: I'm 'Sad' This Is So Public

by Alex Ungerman 6:35 PM PDT, August 17, 2015
Playing Terrence Howard on Emotional Divorce Settlement Hearing: I'm 'Sad' This Is So Public

It was a tough day in court for Terrence Howard.

The 46-year-old actor told ET at a Los Angeles courthouse, where he is currently involved in divorce hearings with his ex-wife Michelle Ghent, that he's been "exposed" and had his privacy violated during his divorce proceedings.

NEWS: Terrence Howard Cries in Court During Divorce Settlement Hearing

"Sad that this has to be on a public forum," said Howard, remarking that the proceedings are not a criminal trial. "It's a family law, it should be family law, it should be protected."

"To have your personal life exposed between family and shared with the public, I think is a violation of our privacy, and of our constitutional rights," he continued. "It needs to be reformed."

Howard is reportedly filming Empire on Monday, and left court with a suitcase in hand. The Empire star has taken Ghent to court to attempt to overturn the couple's previous divorce settlement, which gave Ghent several of the couple's bank accounts as well as a portion of Howard's earnings. The judge's ruling will be announced Monday, Aug. 24 at 8:30 a.m.

WATCH: Hollywood's Most Nuclear Divorces

Howard reportedly broke down in tears in court on Friday, describing how his ex-wife allegedly threatened to release damaging personal information about him in order to get him to sign a divorce settlement in 2012. The couple separated in 2011 after one year of marriage. The divorce was finalized in 2013.

"I was terrified of her releasing the private tapes," Howard said, claiming that the videos showed him in "intimate settings."

When asked why he stayed with Ghent after he found out about her plans to blackmail him, Howard said "I loved her," adding that, "I thought she had perhaps made the threats out of anger."

WATCH: Terrence Howard Denies Domestic Abuse Allegations

Howard also broke down while fielding questions about his past domestic violence allegations, and called for a recess after Ghent's attorney displayed a photo of her with a black eye. He reportedly admitted to hitting his first wife in anger, but said that any violence against Ghent was in self-defense.

Howard denied abuse allegations to ET at the Lee Daniels' The Butler premiere in 2013.

"I just wish the best for her," he said, referring to Ghent. "But as far as me harming somebody... I really can't harm a fly. It's completely against my spirit, but I'm so heartbroken, that you can see that doing it on a night like this is only for an attempt to try and hurt me."

Ghent was not permitted to testify, with the judge citing that her lawyers hadn't submitted a sworn declaration from her.

WATCH: How Terrence Howard Found 'New Freedom' With 'Empire' Boss Lee Daniels