The Hustle & Flow star claimed he signed the agreement under duress, accusing Ghent of threatening to leak embarrassing information about his sex life to the press if he didn't comply.

During the trail, Howard told a Los Angeles court he feared the release of audio and sex tape video footage would damage his career beyond repair, so he agreed to pay Ghent $5,800 (£3,625)-a-month for three years, even though their union only lasted one year. Their divorce was finalised in 2013.

In March (15), his ex was also granted a portion of his earnings from hit TV series Empire, and that ruling appears to have prompted the actor to seek justice.

On Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas Trent Lewis ruled, "evidence of extortion or duress was unrebutted", clearing the way for the former couple to negotiate a new financial agreement, according to the New York Daily News.

Howard welcomed his fourth child with model/restaurateur Mira in May (15), but during the trial it emerged he had allegedly split from his third wife.

Representatives for Howard have yet to confirm news of his latest split.