Hollywood actor Terrence Howard has claimed his ex-wife Michelle Ghent threatened to kill him and his family during a reunion in Costa Rica.

The 44-year-old Iron Man actor and Ghent divorced in May after just a year of marriage and have been locked in bitter legal battles ever since.

Ghent filed for divorce from Howard in February 2011, citing irreconcilable differences. She got a temporary restraining order against him in December of that year after claiming he had been physically abusive throughout their marriage.

Howard fiercely denied the allegations and countered with his own court documents arguing he never threatened Michelle.

Although Howard claimed Ghent was an "evil racist" who hurled slurs at him during their short-lived union and Ghent complained Howard "viciously beat her", both reunited recently.

In court documents obtained by gossip website TMZ, Howard claims that during a heated argument she threatened to kill him and his family, and then pulled out pepper spray and attacked him, his kids and his son-in-law.

Police were called and reports were taken, but it is still not clear what happened.

Ghent is reportedly planning to go court to acquire a restraining order against Howard.

According to TMZ, Howard is set to present evidence that Ghent recently tried to commit suicide before being hospitalised and diagnosed with paranoia.

One menacing message allegedly sent from #Ghent reads: "I know where u and ur family live. Watch yourself."