Madonna Says She Was Never Assaulted By Sean Penn in New Legal Docs
By Sophie Schillaci
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Madonna is coming to Sean Penn's defense.
The 57-year-old singer has filed new legal documents on Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court claiming that -- contrary to persistent tabloid rumors -- she was never physically assaulted by Penn during their marriage.
"I am aware of the allegations that have surfaced over the years accusing Sean of incidents of physical assault and abuse against me," she stated in her declaration. "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."
Madonna got specific while referencing another alleged incident from 1989.
"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," she said.
The statement comes as Penn has filed an amended complaint to his $10 million defamation lawsuit against Empire co-creator Lee Daniels. Penn first filed the suit in September, claiming that Daniels made "false and defamatory statements" about him while discussing domestic violence allegations against Terrence Howard.
"[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."
Earlier this month, Daniels filed to dismiss the lawsuit.
"With fame, money and high-priced legal counsel, Penn has the power to buy most things," Daniels’ filing read. "Fortunately for Daniels, the First Amendment is not for sale. It protects Daniels and others from lawsuits like this one, financially-draining attacks brought to punish free speech exercised to Penn's chagrin."
Thursday’s new legal filing also addressed this argument.
"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," Penn's amended complaint read. "Just as it does not protect a person from 'shouting fire in a crowded theatre,' it also does not protect defamatory conduct."
Penn's attorney, Mathew Rosengart, addressed the new filing to ET, stating, "As our court filing today unequivocally demonstrates -- and as his camp surely must know -- Mr. Daniels’ statements were false, reckless, malicious, and defamatory. We look forward to the continued prosecution of our case and holding the defendant responsible and financially liable for his outrageous misconduct."
Daniels' attorney, James Sammataro, of the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, also released a statement regarding the latest filing.
"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," Sammataro's statement read. "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 and Madonna were married from 1985-1989. During that time, in 1987, Penn did serve 33 days in jail for assaulting a photographer. The pair appear to be on good terms today. In October, Penn was spotted in the front row of one of Madonna's performances. For more on the state of their relationship, watch the video below.