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At one point in time Madonna and Sean Penn were an item, married from 1985 to 1989, and for years the stories about their tempestuous relationship have explicitly focused on the fact that Sean was physically abusive to her. But now Madonna is putting the rumors to rest with an official court document, saying that no, he never hit her.

Madonna is coming to Sean’s defense after he filed a defamation lawsuit against Lee Daniels, a filmmaker and the co-creator of Empire. Lee had allegedly been quoted alluding to Sean’s history of assault when he attempted to stand up for Empire star Terrance Howard who was reported in the media as having a history of domestic abuse as well. The quote from Lee read:

“[Terrence] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some fuckin’ demon. That’s a sign of the time, of race, of what we are right now in America.”

Sean Penn didn’t appreciate the comparison. The old story between Sean and Madonna goes that Sean hit Madonna with a baseball bat in 1987, and that in 1989 he was arrested for battery and assault against her, but she has a pretty different statement.

In her statement she was clear that their time as a couple included “more than one heated argument”, but that the rest of the allegations were just untrue. She said:

“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.”

If Sean wins the case he will be awarded $10 million dollars for his mention in the quote.

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