*“Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels has fulfilled the “apology” part of the defamation lawsuit brought against him from Sean Penn.
Penn sued Daniels for $10 million for suggesting he has a domestic violence history comparable to “Empire” star Terrence Howard. Daniels said, “[Terrence] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f*****’ demon.”
Although terms of the settlement were confidential, TMZ reported that part of it included Lee issuing a public apology and donating money Penn’s Haitian relief organization.
Daniels wrote a check for the charity and included this public apology with it:
“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.
“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.”
“I too have been the subject of false attacks by others, like those made here,” the Empire co-creator said. 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,” Daniels added. “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.”
Sean wrote a brief response, saying … “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.”