Madonna defended her ex-husband Sean Penn against allegations that he physically assaulted her during the course of their relationship.

Madonna Defends Sean Penn

Penn, who filed a defamation lawsuit against Empire co-creator and filmmaker Lee Daniels earlier this year, has amended his complaint to include a statement from Madonna, who claims that the Mystic River actor had never hit her as Daniels had suggested.

“I am aware of the allegations that have surfaced over the years accusing Sean of incidents of physical assault and abuse against me,” reads Madonna’s statement, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “Specifically, I am aware of the allegations concerning an alleged incident that occurred in June, 1987, whereby (according to tabloid reports), Sean allegedly struck me with  ‘a baseball bat.’ I know the allegations in those and other reports to be completely outrageous, malicious, reckless, and false.”

“I am also aware of allegations concerning an incident that occurred in December, 1989, which purportedly resulted in Sean’s arrest for domestic assault and battery against me. I know those allegations to be false,” Madonna’s statement continues. “While we certainly had more than one heated argument during our marriage, Sean has never struck me, ‘tied me up,’ or physically assaulted me, and any report to the contrary is completely outrageous, malicious, reckless, and false.”


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In response to the amendment to Penn’s lawsuit, Daniels’ camp has claimed that Penn is attempting to infringe upon Daniels’ First Amendment rights.

“The fact that Penn felt the need to replace his initial complaint with a new filing is an undeniable concession that he viewed his original complaint as a loser,” the statement reads. “We don’t believe the new iteration will fare any better, as it does not change the fact that the statement is an opinion protected by the First Amendment.”

Penn’s attorney Mathew Rosengart has shut down the suggestion that Daniels’ was within his rights per the First Amendment when he discussed the allegations about Penn’s history of domestic violence.

“Unfortunately for Daniels, his statements — which by direct reference to Howard’s misconduct, falsely accuse Penn of committing serious, multiple crimes against women — are not protected by the First Amendment,” states the amended complaint. “As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously observed almost 100 years ago, the First Amendment is not absolute. Just as it does not protect a person from ‘shouting fire in a crowded theater,’ it also does not protect defamatory conduct.”

Back in September, when the noise surrounding Empire star Terrence Howard‘s history of domestic violence was at an all time high after he admitted to it, Daniels attempted to take some of the heat off his show’s star by stating that Howard had done no worse than Penn.

“[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 The Hollywood Reporter. “That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”

The comments led Penn to file a lawsuit to at long last clear his name.

“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,” read Penn’s initial filing.

“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 complaint continued. “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.”


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