Terrence Howard Hit With $1 Million Judgment In Tax Case

A judge in Philadelphia has ordered Terrence Howard to pay nearly $1 million in back taxes, interest and penalties.

The Feb. 22 judgment came after the Justice Department reportedly sued the “Empire” star in 2022 for failing to pay $578,000 in income taxes between 2010 and 2019.

According to court documents cited by multiplenewsoutlets, Howard told a Justice Department attorney that it’s “immoral for the United States government to charge taxes to the descendants of slaves.”

“Four hundred years of forced labor and never receiving any compensation for it,” Howard was quoted as saying in a November voicemail. “Now you have the gall to try and prosecute and charge taxes to the descendants of a broken people that you are responsible for causing the breakage.”

The recording cut off at this point, but Howard called back to continue his message.

“In truth, the entire United States should, by default, become the property of the descendants of slaves,” he reportedly said. “But since you do not have the ability [or] the courage to do it, let’s try this in court. … We’re gonna bring you down.”

Representatives for Howard did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

This is not the first time that Terrence Howard has faced legal trouble.
This is not the first time that Terrence Howard has faced legal trouble. Danny Moloshok/Invision/Associated Press

Howard had allegedly attempted to avoid being served with the Justice Department lawsuit. Prosecutors said that the government first tried to find him at a motel in Jackson, Mississippi, before further attempts were made at properties in Philadelphia, Chicago and La Habra, California.

He was finally served in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, in September. But the actor allegedly failed to cooperate with the Justice Department or appear at hearings, resulting in last week’s default judgment against him.

Howard has been in legal trouble before. In 2015, he acknowledged in a Rolling Stone interview that he had “slapped” his wife in 2001, an incident that led to a guilty plea for disorderly conduct. Howard was also once accused of assaulting a flight attendant, though the charge against him was later dropped.

The Oscar-nominated actor notably appeared in the 2008 film “Iron Man” but was replaced for “Iron Man 2,” with Howard suggesting that salary issues were to blame. He ultimately missed out on more than a decade of box-office blockbusters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.