Howard has failed to keep up with ordered payments. Last year Ghent was granted $1.3 million in spousal support as part of her divorce agreement with Howard.
When the series premiered in 2015, Howard was paid about $120,000 per episode. Following the show’s season 1 success, his, and co-star Taraji P. Henson’s, pay jumped to as much as $250,000 per episode. Empire typically produced 18 episodes each season. In comparison, Jussie Smollett, who also appeared on the program, earned as much as $125,000 per episode following season 1. Smollett is currently embroiled in his own legal crisis.
Outside of his legal battle with his ex-wife, Howard and his current fiancée (who is also his third ex-wife — they were divorced and reunited late last year) Mira Howard, are also being investigated for tax evasion.
Howard has had tax troubles going back over a decade. In 2006 the feds executed a lien against him for $600,000, and again in 2010 for $1.1 million. In April 2019 the State of California Franchise Tax Board filed a $143,538 lien against Howard.