Another day, another legal dispute for ?Empire? creator Lee Daniels but fortunately for him… the battle against Hollywood A-Lister Sean Penn is over and done!
If you recall, Penn filed a $10 Million defamation lawsuit against the filmaker after Daniels used his name when defending Empire star Terrence Howard against media reports of domestic violence.? The statements were made in an interview conducted prior to the season 2 premiere of the show, where Daniels said:
?[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.?
[READ: Sean Penn Files $10Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Lee Daniels… *COURT DOCS*]
A settlement agreement has been reached between the two parties and the case and now Daniels is forced to ‘cut the check’!
First and foremost, Daniels says he?s sorry he even called actor Sean Penn a ?wife beater.?
According to PageSix, Daniels’ public apology comes as part of the settlement of Penn?s $10 million defamation lawsuit against the filmmaker.
?I am sorry that I have hurt you Sean, and I apologize and retract my reckless statements about you,? Daniels said in a joint statement released Wednesday.
The director had previously claimed that Penn was a wife beater in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year.
In response to the mea culpa, Penn said, ?I accept Lee?s heartfelt apology and appreciate the sincerity with which it was delivered.?
As part of the settlement, Daniels also made an unspecified donation to Penn?s Haitian Relief Organization and praised the Hollywood star as a ?brilliant actor? and ?humanitarian.?
In his public apology, Daniels goes on to say:
?I, too, have been the subject of false attacks by others. 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.?
In the September 2015 interview, Daniels discussed his view that ?Empire? star Terrence Howard, who has a record of violence against women, ?ain?t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he?s some f?in? demon.?
A week after the interview was published, Penn filed a lawsuit against Daniels in Manhattan Supreme Court, saying that while he has had ?several brushes with the law,? he has never been arrested for or convicted of domestic violence.
Penn’s ex-wife Madonna also submitted a sworn statement to the court denying rumors that Penn hit her with a baseball bat in 1987 when they were married.
In his apology, Daniels also stated that ?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.