Sean Penn Files $10 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against “Empire” Co-Creator Lee …

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »


The beef between the two started earlier this month when filmmaker Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter that ”Empire” star Terrence Howard, who has a record of violence against women, “Ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f–in’ demon.” He was commenting on the negative press surrounding Howard, who’s been “arrested five times for violent acts against women,” according to Penn’s suit. “First in his purported defense of Howard, Daniels not only appears to acknowledge Howard’s guilt, he also seems to condone Howard’s misconduct,” Penn says in the suit. The Oscar winner says today that the co-creator of the biggest show on the Big 4 used “false and defamatory” language to imply he has abused women.

Penn claims the remarks were made to bolster Daniels’ show “Empire.” He admits, in the filing, that while he has had “several brushes with the law” the ”Milk” and “Mystic River” star was never arrested or convicted for domestic violence. “His ex-wives (including Madonna) would confirm and attest,” the suit says. 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.

Daniels, in the THR piece, condemned the public persona that Howard seemed to have gained by past run-ins with the courts and other accusations from ex-wives. Accordingly, and because of Daniels’ defamatory statements, Penn brings this action for monetary relief, and to deter Daniels and others from their defamatory actions.” The lawsuit comes just one day before the Season 2 debut of the blockbuster hip hop drama on Fox.

A fact Greenberg Traurig’s Rosengart notes in a manner in the complaint, alleging that Daniels’ remarks about Howard were “apparently part of a misguided campaign to profit and further bolster and brand his show Empire.”

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