Terrence Howard has faced numerous allegations of violence against his two ex-wives. But despite previously admitting to hitting his first wife, the 48-year-old Empire star now says being abusive is not part of his history.
“I’ve never been abusive to anyone in my entire life,” Howard wrote on Twitter early Saturday morning. “I have loved and paid the price for love. I am the same loving being since day 1!”
His tweets came seemingly in response to an interview in the current issue of PEOPLE, in which he said, “I’ve made terrible mistakes throughout my life.”
On Twitter, Howard clarified. “When I say that I’ve made mistakes, it is not regarding violence but judgement,” he wrote. “Trusting the wrong people!”
“I firmly believe that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. Kiss for a [kiss],” he added. “This double standard that has permitted abusive women to feel that they can assault a man and not reap where they have sowed is wrong!”
Howard was arrested in 2001 and plead guilty for disorderly conduct after punching first wife Lori McCommas “twice with a close fist,” according to police — Rolling Stone, E! News and New York Magazine reported.
“She was talking to me real strong, and I lost my mind and slapped her in front of the kids,” Howard, told Rolling Stone in 2015, expressing contrition. “Her lawyer said it was a closed fist, but even slapping her was wrong.”
The couple were married in 1989 and divorced in 2003 — only to be remarried in 2005 and divorce again in 2007.
In 2013, Howard’s second wife Michelle Ghent was granted a restraining order against him on the grounds that he hit and kicked her during a family vacation and threatened to kill her.
Howard has claimed self-defense in regards to the Ghent altercation — telling Rolling Stone, “She was trying to Mace me and you can’t see anything so all you can do is try to bat somebody away, and I think that something caught her. But I wasn’t trying to hit her.”
In a 2015 divorce hearing, Howard’s lawyer argued that he signed their spousal support agreement “under duress.” The judge called Howard a “bully” but ruled in the actor’s favor. The decision is currently under appeal.
“I still have growing to do,” Howard told PEOPLE. “I just hope the mistakes I make now are smarter mistakes.”