Terrence Howard has agreed to stay away from his ex-wife for at least three years.

The 'Butler' star, whose ex-wife Michelle Ghent was granted a temporary restraining order against him last month, after claiming he beat her during an argument in Costa Rica, has agreed to abide by the terms of the protection order, which was made permanent in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday (18.09.13), and will remain in place until 2016.

The 44-year-old actor was originally required to stay 100 yards away from Michelle at all times but the judge also extended the distance to 300 yards.

Terrence also agreed to pay $14,800 of Michelle's legal fees, according to gossip website TMZ.com.

The Oscar-nominee, who has three adult children, previously said he was ''heartbroken'' over the domestic abuse allegations and strongly denied attacking Michelle.

He said: ''Unfortunately I've tried to help people and it's not necessarily in the same enlightened path, of trying to help themselves.

''We're divorced now, and she should stay that way. And I just wish the best for her, 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.''