Lee Daniels, the co-creator of Empire, vowed to fight the defamation lawsuit that Sean Penn threw at him, but I guess he figured it’s cheaper just to settle up and spit out a fake apology than continue to pay endless lawyer bills. Because Lee Daniels has settled with Sean Penn and now they’re good.
It all started when Lee defended noted asshole Terrence Howard in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Lee said that lady beater Terrence gets called the devil incarnate while Sean Penn and Marlon Brando have done the same stuff that Baby Wipes has done and they don’t really get shit on for it. Sean filed a $10 million lawsuit against Lee for spreading lies and ruining his pristine reputation as a sane and calm individual who is so sensitive that he holds a funeral for any fly that he accidentally kills.
At first, Lee’s lawyers fought the lawsuit by saying his comments were protected by the First Amendment. Lee also submitted articles claiming that Sean tied his then-wife Madonna to a chair and beat her. Madonna stayed on Team Sean when she said in a declaration that he never beat her and all those reports were untrue.
Deadline reports that the lawsuit isn’t going to court and we won’t get to hear about how smoke shot out of Sean’s ears and he had to practically fist himself to keep from punching a trick while watching Lee testify. They reached a settlement. Lee donated an undisclosed amount of money to Sean Penn’s Haitian Relief Organization. Lee also released this totally genuine apology:
“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.”
Sean accepted Lee’s forced apology with this totally genuine statement:
“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.”
Both of those statements are dripping in syrupy sarcasm and you can practically hear them muttering, “fuck that motherfucker,” and, “sorry my ass,” between words. I’m surprised Lee Daniels backed down. But I won’t be surprised if on the next season of Empire, there’s a character who is an abusive Hollywood actor named Jean Tenn. And Jean Tenn will either be played by Tan Mom or a piece of deep fried salmon jerky.
And here’s ole’ chicharron face at LAX last month: