"Empire" head honcho Lee Daniels could be learning a very expensive lesson about being careful what you say about Sean Penn, as the "Milk" Oscar-winner is suing Daniels for $10 million over comments Daniels made in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter
So what was it that touched such a nerve with Penn? In the interview, Daniels compared Penn to the show's star, Terrence Howard, claiming both have a history of being abusive toward women. "[Terrence] ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f—ing demon," Daniels told THR in reference to to Howard's recent legal troubles. "That's a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America."
Penn has hired former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart to file the $10 million defemation suit. "As a result of Penn's status as a public figure, he has for years been the subject of scandalous, scurrilous and baseless attacks," the filing reads. "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."
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“Daniels falsely equates Penn with Howard, even though, 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,” the complaint states.
“Sean is dismayed at the gratuitous attacks and statements that have made over the years at his expense and he wants to take a stand and correct the record,” Rosengart told Deadline. Clearly.