23/09/2015 09:38 BST | Updated 23/09/2015 09:59 BST

Sean Penn Files Defamation Lawsuit Against 'Empire' Creator Lee Daniels

Sean Penn has filed a defamation lawsuit against ‘Empire’ creator, Lee Daniels.

The lawsuit, worth $10 million (around £6.5 million), came after Lee mentioned Sean in an interview about ‘Empire’ actor Terrence Howard, who was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife.

Defending Terence in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lee said: “He ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f***in' demon.

sean penn

Sean Penn

“That's a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”

This has led Sean to file a defamation case against Lee, with his lawyer claiming he is “dismayed at the gratuitous attacks and statements that have made over the years at his expense”.

lee daniels

Lee Daniels

As reported by Deadline, his lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, writes: “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.

“Sean is dismayed at the gratuitous attacks and statements that have made over the years at his expense, and he wants to take a stand and correct the record.”

He continues: “Penn, like any citizen, has a right to defend himself and will no longer tolerate the reckless and malicious behavior of others, who seek to aggrandize themselves or their projects at his expense.

“Accordingly, and because of Daniels’ defamatory statements, Penn brings this action for monetary relief, and to deter Daniels and others from their defamatory actions.”

Sean was married to Madonna for four tumultuous years, before their divorce was eventually finalised in 1989.

The news of his lawsuit against Lee Daniels comes as ‘Empire’ prepares to launch its second season in the US.

Photo gallery The Ladies Of Sean Penn See Gallery