Daniels lit Penn’s very short fuse in defense of actor Terrence Howard, who’s being ostracized for allegedly and admittedly abusing his estranged wife and other women.
“That poor boy [Howard] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f*ckin’ demon,” Daniels told trade rag The Hollywood Reporter.
The remarks prompted the “I Am Sam” actor to file a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, charging that Daniels “defamed” him.
Penn complains that he “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,” according to court papers.
The lawsuit continues: “Penn (unlike Howard) has never been arrested, much less convicted, for domestic violence, as his ex-wives (including Madonna) would confirm and attest.”
But Penn’s record of abuse is no secret and has been widely reported by reputable newspapers, including The Boston Globe.
In June 1988, Madonna was admitted to Cedars Sinai Hospital in New York City for x-rays after she claimed Penn struck her in the head with a baseball bat, according to London’s Daily Mail and other newspapers.
Madonna did not file an official complaint because Penn was already facing a jail term for assaulting a film extra. In fact, he served 33 days of a 60-day sentence in the Los Angeles County Jail for violating probation after punching a fan.
But that’s not all.
On Dec. 28, 1989, Penn reportedly broke into Madonna’s Malibu house and cornered her in her bedroom. Madonna filed a complaint with the Malibu Sheriff’s Office, detailing more than nine hours of abuse.
Penn allegedly told her he owned her “lock, stock and barrel.” When she tried to leave, he started to tie her up with electric lamp cord. The fight spilled into the living room. Penn caught up with her and tied her to a chair with heavy twine.
He began to taunt her and threatened to cut off her hair, according to the police report. Penn was “drinking liquor straight from the bottle” and allegedly smacked and roughed up Madonna over a period of hours.
He went out to buy more booze and left Madonna bound and gagged for several hours. When he returned he agreed to untie her if she performed a sex act on him.
Afterward, she ran to her car with Penn in hot pursuit. He was reportedly banging on the windows while she called police. Later, she drove to the sheriff’s office.
“I hardly recognized her as Madonna. She was weeping, her lip was bleeding and she had obviously been struck,” Lt. Bill McSweeney wrote in the report.
Penn was charged with inflicting “corporal injury and traumatic conditions” and “felony domestic assault.”
Madonna filed for divorce a week later; Penn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stemming from the incident, according to The New York Daily News.
If he thinks he can prevail in a lawsuit like this, he’s got another thing coming.
Madonna, his ex-wife Robin Wright and former fiancee Charlize Theron will undoubtedly be forced to testify. Forcing them to go through cross-examination and a public trial is abuse in itself.
Believe it or not, Penn now sees himself as “one of the greatest actors and humanitarians of our time,” according to court papers. But there’s no way he can bury his past.
Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest celebrity news.