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Sadly, this is a pretty typical scenario in consulting. In my own experience, the best and ultimately only thing to do is to be a gentleman as long as you can, and then to walk away once a clients behavior becomes abusive.

You don't say what level your client is in their organisation. If, (as is generally the case with ineffective managers), they themselves have a boss, one of the best ways to address abusive behavior is to withdraw your services, thereby forcing your client's organisation to make a decision about whether to remove them, or force a change in their behavior.

The most important thing a consulting firm has is its reputation. Unsatisfied customers talk to potential customers and dissuade them from entering new contracts. There is a real financial cost to entertaining abusive customers- it is better for all concerned to enforce a code of conduct.

I've seen multiple shitty IT contracting firms failing projects over and over and still get contracts.

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