Lee Daniels Publicly Apologizes to Sean Penn As They Settle Defamation Lawsuit
Producer Lee Daniels has asked Sean Penn for forgiveness after accusing the star of hitting women.
Penn filed a $10-million defamation suit against Daniels, after the “Empire” co-creator compared Penn to Terrence Howard, who has admitted to striking his first wife.
He told THR at the time, "That poor boy. [Terrence] ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f**king demon. That's a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America."
The letter stated, "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.”
Daniels continued, "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. My very best, Lee Daniels."
Sean settled the suit, and responded to the letter, stating, "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."