Back in September, actor, Sean Penn filed a lawsuit against Empire creator, Lee Daniels, for an offhand remark he made in an interview, defending his star, Terrence Howard and his troubled past with domestic violence.
Penn filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Daniels charging that in an interview with The Hollywood ReporterPenn was falsely accused of domestic violence when he was compared to the Empire star.
“[Terrence] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f—in’ demon,” Daniels told THR in reference to to Howard’s recent legal troubles. “That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”
Daniels was likely referring to the rumors about domestic violence troubles during his marriage to mega pop star, Madonna, back in the late 80s. It was never confirmed, but gossip publications reported that Penn hit the singer across the head with a baseball bat, tied her to a chair and wouldn’t let her go, and other various physical abuses.
Now, Penn has amended his suit with a sworn statement from Madonna herself, that ALL the rumors are false. Penn never hit her during their tempestuous marriage, she declares.
Here’s the declaration from the amended suit:
I am aware of the allegations that have surfaced over the years accusing Sean of incidents of physical assault and abuse against me. Specifically, I am aware of the allegations concerning an alleged incident that occurred in June 1987, whereby (according to tabloid reports), Sean allegedly struck me with “a baseball bat.” I know the allegations in those and other reports to be completely outrageous, malicious, reckless, and false.
I am also aware of allegations concerning an incident that occurred in December, 1989, which purportedly resulted in Sean’s arrest for domestic assault and battery against me. I know those allegations to be false. While we certainly had more than one heated argument during our marriage, Sean has never struck me, “tied me up,” or physically assaulted me, and any report to the contrary is completely outrageous, malicious, reckless and false.
Interesting that Penn didn’t sue the Daily Mail and others for defamation when these allegations surfaced…
Daniels’ team released a response:
The fact that Penn felt the need to replace his initial complaint with a new filing is an undeniable concession that he viewed his original complaint as a loser. We don’t believe the new iteration will fare any better, as it does not change the fact that the statement is an opinion protected by the First Amendment.
Madonna and Penn have remained friends since their divorce in 1989.