Sean Penn files $10 million lawsuit against Lee Daniels for Terrence Howard …

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Angry Actor Sean Penn Is Angry About Being Compared to Angry Actor Terrence Howard.

Actor Sean Penn has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against the “Empire” producer Lee Daniels after comments Daniels made in the press that suggested Penn was a domestic abuser. (AP file photos) NEW YORK — Sean Penn on Tuesday filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against “Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels over comments Daniels made comparing him to the show’s star Terrence Howard, who’s been repeatedly accused of domestic violence.

Daniels’ comments appeared online about a week ago in the entertainment publication The Hollywood Reporter in a story about the upcoming season of the popular Fox television show. “That poor boy (Terrence) ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some … demon,” Daniels said in the article. “That’s a sign of time, of race, of where we are right now in America.” Penn’s lawsuit, filed in Manhattan civil court, says Daniels’ statements were egregious and injured Penn’s credibility and reputation personally, professionally and in his philanthropic activities. Penn has won two best actor Oscars, for “Mystic River” and “Milk.” He has made a major humanitarian push in Haiti after it was devastated by an earthquake, co-founding the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. He also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after a couple in a restaurant accused him of attacking them after the woman complained that he had cut in line.

He beat a man he thought was trying to kiss Madonna in a nightclub, and he admitted driving recklessly and punching an extra on the set of the movie “Colors.” Daniels is the Oscar-nominated filmmaker of “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” ”The Paperboy” and “The Butler.” The new season of “Empire,” which he created with Danny Strong, starts Wednesday. But Penn, like any citizen, has a right to defend himself and will no longer tolerate the reckless and malicious behaviour of others, who seek to aggrandize themselves or their projects at his expense. Howard has been forced to publicly address domestic violence allegations, including during testimony in a Los Angeles courtroom in August, when he acknowledged he struck his first wife in 2001 but denied abusing another ex-wife, Michelle Ghent. Accordingly, and because of Daniels’ defamatory statements, Penn brings this action for monetary relief, and to deter Daniels and others from their defamatory actions.” In his complaint, Penn calls Daniels’s statements largely “egregious”, and finds fault with Daniels leaping to Howard’s defense to “further bolster and brand his show Empire (on the eve of the Emmy Awards, when the statements were made)”.

Howard testified about the 2001 incident in Pennsylvania and said he drove to his ex-wife’s house after an argument and “kicked down the door and smacked her.” He said it was the “only time I’ve struck a woman” when it wasn’t self-defense. The lawsuit continues: “Penn (unlike Howard) has never been arrested, much less convicted, for domestic violence, as his ex-wives (including Madonna) would confirm and attest.” The actor is familiar with being sued himself, like when he kicked a photographer a few years back (he pleaded no contest), and he served a little over a month in jail for assaulting a photographer back in 1987.

A judge in August overturned a Howard-Ghent divorce settlement that entitled her to a portion of his “Empire” earnings after finding she had coerced him into signing it or facing leaks of embarrassing information about him. Randy Taraborrelli, in his extensively researched Madonna: An Intimate Biography, published by Simon & Schuster, details the police reports of the December 1988 encounter, which occurred after the pop star asked for a divorce from Penn.

According to the reports, the actor broke into her Malibu home and began arguing; he then “tried to bind her hands with an electric lamp and cord,” but Madonna fled. The book continues: In desperation—again, according to official documents—Madonna finally persuaded Sean to untie her by telling him she needed to go to the bathroom. Besides, as he must be well aware by now, Penn—like Howard—hasn’t let a little thing like alleged abuse get in the way of a successful career, which includes a relatively rare two Oscar wins.

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