Actor Terrence Howard has finally found peace in his home life after letting go of the “crippling” emotional baggage from his tough childhood.
The Empire star was left mentally scarred as a child after witnessing his father Tyrone kill a man in a mall stabbing in front of their families.
He was imprisoned for 11 months, and while his mother Anita subsequently filed for divorce, Tyrone maintained a strong presence in his kids’ lives, and Terrence claims he was subjected to daily beatings from his dad until he was 14.
Young Terrence was also bullied in the streets, and his rough upbringing led to him becoming physically violent as an adult, lashing out at his first wife Lori McCommas, the mother of his three eldest children. His ex-wife Michelle Ghent also accused the actor of threatening to kill her during a 2013 vacation, but he denied the allegations, claiming self-defense.
Terrence went on to marry Mira Pak in October, 2013 and he insists finding love with the former model and restaurateur has helped him to move past his troubled history.
“Two weeks after meeting Mira, I gathered up things associated with my past and found a nice hill and buried them all there,” he tells People.com.
“Mira settled me,” he continues. “Our marriage is effortless. Relationships are hard work, but we really don’t fight.”
The couple shares sons Qirin, 22 months, and Hero, seven months, and Terrence, a former Muslim who no longer follows any religion, admits he owes part of their peaceful home life to learning to use the calming affects of nature to rid him of any stress.
“I’ll just watch a tree’s limbs sway back and forth or take my shoes off and put my hands on a tree,” he explains of how he now manages his stress. “It makes me feel part of the whole.
“I’ve made terrible mistakes throughout my life,” the 48-year-old continues. “I was dragging baggage with me that was crippling me mentally and physically. But I finally feel I can put that to rest. I can breathe again.
“I still have growing to do,” Terrence adds. “I just hope the mistakes I make now are smarter mistakes.”
The star’s romance with Mira hasn’t been a completely smooth ride though – they secretly divorced in July, 2015, just two months after baby Qirin was born, only to reconcile weeks later. They managed to keep the split quiet until the actor’s marital status was brought up in the summer of 2015 as part of his court battle with Ghent over their pricey divorce settlement.