Sean Penn suing Lee Daniels for $10 million

Sean Penn is suing Empire creator Lee Daniels for $10 million in a defamation lawsuit.

Sean Penn is suing Empire creator Lee Daniels for $10 million in a defamation lawsuit.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Daniels defended his leading man Terrence Howard’s record of violence with women by saying, “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 in American right now.”

The response was meant to illustrate how black actors aren’t afforded the same pardons as their white counterparts. However, in his court filing, Penn called the statement “egregious on several levels.”

“First in his purported defense of Howard, Daniels not only appears to acknowledge Howard’s guilt, he also seems to condone Howard’s misconduct,” the two-time Oscar winner points out.  

Penn’s attorney also released a statement explaining the motive behind taking this to court. 

“As asserted in the lawsuit, there is also a potentially even larger issue at stake, which is the malicious and reckless repetition of rumors and innuendo at the expense of others. Sean has been subjected to false, baseless, and reckless attacks for years, and this is only the most recent example.”

“Daniels falsely equates Penn with Howard,” the suit further states. “While he has certainly 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.”