Sean Penn has sued Empire creator Lee Daniels for saying that he has a history of hitting women just like his lead actor Terrence Howard.
In his $10 million lawsuit, Penn says Daniels defamed him when he told The Hollywood Reporter, ‘[Terrence] 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.’
Penn’s lawsuit describes Daniels’ comment as ‘reckless and malicious,’ adding that even though he ‘had several brushes with the law, Penn (unlike Howard) has never been arrested, much less convicted, for domestic violence, as his ex-wives (including Madonna) would confirm and attest.’
The lawsuit goes on to say that ‘Daniels’ defense of Howard (and his improper invocation of two of the greatest actors and humanitarians of our time, Brando and Penn, in doing so) is apparently part of a misguided campaign to profit and further bolster and brand his show “Empire.”‘
Penn says he’s tired of being the subject of ‘scandalous, scurrilous, and baseless attacks’ as it has been for years, and is filing the lawsuit ‘for monetary relief, and to deter Daniels and others from their defamatory actions.’
Penn is well-known for attacking paparazzi, and for years many tabloids have reported that he also brutalized Madonna in the early ’80s. But he has never been charged with domestic violence.