Sean Penn initiates $10 million defamation lawsuit

By Tribute on September 24, 2015 | 11 Comments

Sean PennTwo-time Oscar winner Sean Penn makes headlines, and not always about his acting.

He is notoriously known for assaulting paparazzi.  In 1986, he was charged with attempted murder for allegedly dangling a photographer he found in his Macao, China hotel room, but fled the country before he could be taken into custody. In 1987, he served 33 days jail time for assaulting a photographer. And there have been other incidents as well.

But now he is on the other side of the coin. He is suing for defamation of character. He filed on Tuesday against Lee Daniels, co-creater of Empire after disparaging comments were made. Daniels compared Penn to Terrence Howard, star of Empire, who has been accused of domestic violence on several occasions. Howard himself has admitted to the abuse.

The Hollywood Reporter online recently reported that Daniels said, “That poor boy [Terrence]  ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some … demon. That’s a sign of time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”

CNN online reports that lawyer Mathew Rosengart has been hired by Penn and has not made any comment either than referring to the actual complaint, which says: “As a result of Penn’s status as a public figure, he has for years been the subject of scandalous, scurrilous, and baseless attacks. 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. Accordingly, and because of Daniels’ defamatory statements, Penn brings this action for monetary relief, and to deter Daniels and others from their defamatory actions.” ~Sharon Salsberg


Comments & Discussion

  1. lol • September 24, 2015 @ 4:21 PM

    AKA I’m not pissed, but it’s an excuse for me to earn more free money! Yay!

  2. Samantha Lauzon • September 24, 2015 @ 8:59 PM

    Good for him! I’m getting so sick of people using celebrities past mistakes against them constantly. And making an off cuff remark about/towards someone who’s obviously worked hard to restore an image is just wrong. Good on yah Sean hopefully this teaches people a lesson.

  3. Yankee Doodle Dandy • September 24, 2015 @ 11:03 PM

    Yes. Black or white, two wrongs don’t make a right especially when one wrong isn’t right Sean Penn needs to fight.🙇🏻

  4. jam05 • September 25, 2015 @ 7:28 AM

    excellent article. I didn’t remember that Sean Penn dangled a photographer! Could you imagine finding someone in your hotel room? From your article, it appears as though Penn’s troubles always have something to do with the crazy paparazzi. Comparing him to a domestic abuser is a far stretch.

  5. OMI • September 25, 2015 @ 11:26 AM

    OK, before we all start blindly defending Sean Penn for whatever reason, does no one remember that he was accused of – and charged with – felony domestic assault against Madonna when he was married to her? That he allegedly beat her with a baseball bat (she eventually declined to press charges). That he allegedly TIED HER TO A CHAIR AND BEAT HER, until she escaped and fled to a police station? THIS is the guy we want to defend? Yeah, it’s in the past, but this lawsuit has zero merit – Terence Howard is being accused of the same stupidity that Sean Penn freely dabbled in when he was younger. Sure, you can forgive, but don’t forget.

  6. Kris • September 25, 2015 @ 12:27 PM

    You indicate he was charged with assaulting Madonna then she declined to press charges. He was never charged and if the USA is anything like here with respect to domestic violence, it is the police that lay the charge, not the victim or complainant. Having said all that, the man is a spectacular hot-head and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did assault her.

  7. rachel • September 26, 2015 @ 9:31 AM

    Penn’s acting accomplishments outweigh his scary behaviour for a lot of people, but I’m not sure I want to defend him on this.

  8. Animal lover • September 26, 2015 @ 6:01 PM

    Sean Penn has a history of violence. Yes, he did go to Haiti to help the people in crisis there. Maybe he is trying to clean up his reputation, but Charlize Theron was right to drop him.

    But trying to sue for defamation is ridiculous because his past is no secret.

  9. Mandy • September 27, 2015 @ 10:57 PM

    Daniels is an idiot for calling Terrence Howard a “poor boy.” He’s a violent jerk who beats women, he’s no poor boy. He’s also famous and wealthy, arrogant (from what I’ve read) and completely unremorseful. Shame on Daniels.

  10. FiddyMission • September 28, 2015 @ 11:25 AM

    Fantastic article. I’m pretty sure “fair comment” is a complete defence to defamation. The guy is a coward and weasel who beats women.

  11. LJ • October 8, 2015 @ 3:23 PM

    Thank you Mandy! Why is everyone glossing over the comments from Daniels? “Poor boy”??? Poor violent boy who beats up women?

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