Sean Penn, humanitarian, actor, Friend.

Last week The Hollywood Reporter printed an interview with Lee Daniels, in which the Empire showrunner defends actor Terrence Howard, who carries a rap sheet filled with assault charges.

"That poor boy," he says, fiercely protective of his actor. He then alludes to other actors who have been the subject of domestic abuse allegations in the past. "[Terrence] ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f—in' demon," says Daniels. "That's a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America."

Sean Penn (who also has a history filled with assault charges) did not like that comment, and would prefer to be known as a humanitarian, thankyouverymuch. Today he filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Daniels in New York Supreme Court. The suit states that "Daniels used 'reckless, false, and defamatory' language to claim Penn has a history of abusing women and domestic assault," according to Vulture.

The complaint refers to Penn as "one of this generation's most highly-acclaimed and greatest artists and humanitarians," also noting that "unlike Howard [Penn] has never been arrested, much less convicted, for domestic violence, as his ex-wives (including Madonna) would confirm and attest.”

In the 1980s, Penn served 33 days in prison for assaulting a paparazzi (by hanging him off a balcony by his ankles). And as Buzzfeed recently recalled, he was also "charged with felony domestic assault on his then-wife Madonna," who he allegedly hit over the head with a baseball bat. "He pled to a misdemeanor [and] avoided jail time for his assault."

The full suit is here.