(HOLLYWOODREPORTER) — Sean Penn has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Empire creator Lee Daniels. The defamation complaint filed on Tuesday asserts that in Daniels' recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Penn was falsely accused of hitting women by being likened to Empire star Terrence Howard.
"[Terrence] ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f—in' demon," Daniels told THR in reference to to Howard's legal troubles. "That's a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America."
Now, Penn has retained former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, who declined to comment, but referred THR to the first paragraph of the complaint, which states, "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."
Advertisement - story continues below