As you may or may not know, Lee Daniels’ is being sued by Sean Penn, who alleges Daniels’ used “false and defamatory” language to imply he has abused women in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Daniels brought up Sean Penn in a discussion about Terrence Howard’s history of violence against women, telling THR: “He ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f—in’ demon. That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”
Sean Penn wasn’t having it and filed the $10 million suit shortly after.
Lee Daniels tried to get the defamation suit moved to federal court, but ended up backing down and reportedly paid Sean’s attorney’s fees.
“Having considered the arguments and authorities raised in Penn’s October 22, 2015 pre-motion letter requesting a remand and having diligently met and conferred, Daniels has agreed to withdraw his Notice of Removal, and to have this matter remanded to the Supreme Court of the State of New York,” said a letter from Daniels’ lawyers filed today in federal court. “Further, the parties’ resolution includes Daniels’ payment of a confidential monetary amount to Penn consistent with the guiding principles” of the U.S. Code, it adds.
While no dollar amount was given, sources tell me that the payment by Daniels was for Penn’s legal fees, as the Oscar winner’s primary attorney Mathew Rosengart requested on October 22. A proposed order to Judge Edgardo Ramos was submitted today as well (read it here) formally moving the matter back to the N.Y State courts.
$10 million seems a bit excessive for Daniels’ small comments — but you never know how these things play out in court.