Madonna argued with ex-husband Sean Penn, but he never physically abused her …

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Madonna Defends Sean Penn in His Defamation Lawsuit Against Lee Daniels.

Madonna says that claims that Sean Penn physically assaulted or struck her during their marriage are “completely outrageous, malicious, reckless and false.” In an amended complaint filed in New York Superior Court on Thursday, Penn also challenges Daniels’ contention that what he said was protected by the First Amendment.Madonna on Thursday filed a court declaration supporting ex-husband Sean Penn in his $10-million dollar defamation lawsuit against Empire show creator Lee Daniels, who implied in an interview that the actor has a history of domestic violence against women.

At issue is a comment that Daniels, co-creator of Fox’s hit series “Empire,” gave to the Hollywood Reporter in which he compared legal troubles faced by “Empire” star Terrence Howard to those faced by other actors. Given a couple decades’ worth of salacious stories about the Penn-Madonna marriage, which lasted between 1985-1989, the singer speaking up about this topic under penalty of perjury marks a remarkable development from at least a social standpoint. Daniels told the trade magazine that Howard “ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some [expletive] demon,” opining, “That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.” The implication was that Penn has struck women.

In her declaration, Madonna addresses two incidents that frequently come up in the media — one in 1987, another in 1989 — and denies she was struck by a baseball bat, tied up or physically assaulted. She called Penn “a caring, compassionate individual, as well as an extremely talented actor, creative artist, and philanthropist, including in connection with his work as CEO of the J/P Haitian Relief Organization.” Last month, Daniels contended that Penn was engaging in “financially draining attacks brought to punish free speech exercised to Penn’s chagrin.” He called his earlier comments “constitutionally protected opinion,” and “in that it is an assault on the First Amendment and New York’s Constitution,” the litigation should be thrown out.

In a motion to dismiss that will probably be mooted as a result of the amended complaint (though he can bring it again), Daniels said that Penn’s lawsuit “attempts to silence Daniels’ honestly held opinion, a contribution to the marketplace of ideas voiced during the nation’s agonizing debate about racial disparity and domestic violence. Just as it does not protect a person from ‘shouting fire in a crowded theater,’ it also does not protect defamatory conduct.” As Penn is a public figure, he will need to show that Daniels acted with actual malice in his statement.

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