In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lee Daniels compared Terrence Howard to Sean Penn in light of the domestic violence accusations that surrounded the actor.
"[Terrence] ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f—in' demon...That's a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America."
Not to defend Terrance or his violence record, but Lee Daniels has a point. While Marlon Brando is dead, Sean Penn is alive and feeling pretty offended by the comparison. To be specific, he's feeling $10 million worth of offense, which is the amount he's suing the Empire creator for stating not only a fair, but true point. With the help of a former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, he's hoping to, what it looks like, make a total fool of himself on a national level.
"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."
Reckless and malicious behavior of other? Are you serious? Sean we are all well aware of your marriage to Madonna and the pain you put that woman through. If you think Daniels enlightened the world of your past or that he's making up false claims, you are seriously demented.
Penn's lawyer claims that:
“In purporting to ‘defend’ the ongoing legal and related troubles of [Howard] — who has reportedly, and publicly, admitted to physically abusing at least one woman and reportedly been arrested approximately five times for violent acts against women — Daniels has falsely asserted and/or implied that Penn is guilty of ongoing, continuous violence against women.”
So, unlike Penn, Howard has admitted to domestic violence and expressed his guilt and shame (again, not to defend him of the wrongdoing), while Penn went unscathed. It doesn't seem that Daniels implied that Penn was arrested or charged for abusing his wives and girlfriends, but that people quickly jump on the opportunity to villainize Terrance Howard while completely overlooking an oscar winner who committed the same crime.
The $10 million defamation suit is absurd on every level and to suggest that Lee Daniels is making this comparison to boost the brand of Empire is ridiculous. Sean Penn you are not special and nothing Lee Daniels said was out of line. Hopefully Daniels finds himself some good representation that will blow Penn out of the water.