Sean Penn Wins Apology From Lee Daniels, Settles Defamation Lawsuit
As Gossip Cop reported, Penn sued Daniels for $10 million last September after the “Empire” creator accused him of engaging in domestic violence while defending Terrence Howard in an interview. Daniels had said, “[Howard] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f*ckin’ demon. That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”
Penn hit back hard, categorically denying he’s ever abused women, and even had ex-wife Madonna submit a sworn declaration testifying he was never abusive towards her. Daniels initially intended to fight the suit on the grounds of the First Amendment. But now the men have reached a settlement that entails Daniels donating an undisclosed amount to Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization, and issuing a formal apology.
The apology statement reads:
“I am so sorry that I have hurt you, Sean, and I apologize and retract my reckless statements about you. How thoughtless of me. You are someone I consider a friend, a brilliant actor and true Hollywood legend and humanitarian.”
I too have been the subject of false attacks by others, like those made here. My most important role is as a father, and it is important to me that my children learn that it is wrong to reference gossip as fact, as I did here. That can be very damaging and hurtful Domestic violence is a very serious issue. My comments were cavalier; it was not my intention to diminish the severity of the issue, but rather to express a view regarding the disparate treatment of men of color in our national conversation. I apologize again for the distress that this has caused you and your family.”
In response, Penn says in his own statement, “I accept Lee’s heartfelt apology and appreciate the sincerity with which it was delivered. I also accept and appreciate his generous donation to J/P HRO, which will have a transformative effect on the lives of those we serve in Haiti.”