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Sean Penn has a long, spotted past of being an accused woman beater but the moment Lee Daniels mentioned his name, he’s filing a lawsuit.

It all began during the Empire creator’s recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where he defended his leading star Terrence Howard from all the treatment he’s been dealt given his struggle lifestyle.

“[Terrence] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f—in’ demon,” Daniels said, when asked about Howard’s domestic violence issues. “That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”

In a lawsuit filed today (September 22) by Greenberg Traurig’s Mathew Rosengart and Anne Reddy, Penn claims that the comparisons were unjust and constitutes as character defamation.

“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,” part of the suit read, because it never happened unless it went to court, right? The suit also goes into great detail of Penn’s philanthropic works and accuses Daniels of trying to “bolster and brand” Empire, which starts its highly anticipated new season tomorrow.

Penn is asking for $10 million in general and special damages.

H/T: Deadline

Photos: Adriana M. Barraza, Ivan Nikolov/