Just to bring you up to speed: Lee, in an effort to defend ‘Empire’ star Terrence Howard after a legal battle with his ex-wife aired a lot of his “dirty laundry,” said in an interview:
[Terrence] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of the sudden he’s some f—in’ demon. That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”
Well, Sean didn’t appreciate that and sued Lee for defamation.
Madonna submitted an affidavit in support of Sean, which included the following statements:
While we certainly had more than one heated argument during our marriage, Sean has never struck me, ‘tied me up,’ or physically assaulted me, and any report to the contrary is completely outrageous, malicious, reckless and false.”
She specifically referred to a 1987 media story that Sean had hit her with a baseball bat.
I know the allegations in those and other reports to be completely outrageous, malicious, reckless and false.”
She described her ex-husband as:
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.”
Who knew these two were so close these days? Meanwhile, Sean also amended his complaint to respond to Lee’s allegations that Sean’s defamation suit was an attack on his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. In his amended complaint, Sean’s attorney contends:
[Daniels] no legitimate basis to believe that Penn had been arrested or charged (let alone on multiple occasions) with anything relating to domestic abuse (and Penn has never been so arrested or charged).
“Daniels, who was on notice of the falsity of his statements and who could have easily checked on the veracity of his false statements before making them, upon information and belief, made defamatory statements with actual malice, reckless disregard for the truth, and for improper purposes, with full knowledge that the statements would be prominently published and repeated throughout and outside of the United States.”
Sean is claiming that Lee’s statements have injured his reputation and damaged his credibility. I suspect that might be a hard case to make: Sean hasn’t exactly had the best reputation for a while know, which is why Lee made the statements that he did. I’m surprised this case has gone this far, though: it’ll be interesting to see if it actually goes to court.
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