Sean Penn has reportedly filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Lee Daniels after the Empire co-creator defended Terrence Howard’s dark past by highlighting Sean Penn’s alleged history of domestic abuse (Sean reportedly beat Madonna with a baseball bat in 1987 and has experienced incredible success since then, including two Academy Award wins).
In case you missed it, Lee went to bat for Terrence in a recent issue of The Hollywood Reporter, arguing that Terrence “ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn.” He went on to add that race plays a significant role in how the public perceives Sean and Terrence.
Now, Penn has retained former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, who declined to comment, but referred THR to the first paragraph of the complaint, which states, “As a result of Penn’s status as a public figure, he has for years been the subject of scandalous, scurrilous, and baseless attacks. But Penn, like any citizen, has a right to defend himself and will no longer tolerate the reckless and malicious behavior of others, who seek to aggrandize themselves or their projects at his expense. Accordingly, and because of Daniels’ defamatory statements, Penn brings this action for monetary relief, and to deter Daniels and others from their defamatory actions.”