Sean Penn Denies Abusing Ex-Wife Madonna, Affirms Lasting Love

Madonna refutes decades-old domestic abuse allegations against Penn

by Zain ul Abedin
Sean Penn Denies Abusing Ex-Wife Madonna, Affirms Lasting Love
© Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Sean Penn dismissed persistent abuse claims against Madonna, his ex-wife, during their stormy marriage from 1985 to 1989 in The New York Times interview on June 22. Speaking to the notorious allegations, Penn referred to the accusations of violence as absolute falsehoods.

"I had a freaking SWAT team come into my house," Penn said and described the actions taken because of a report about firearms in his home. However, he declined to cooperate earlier, choosing instead to carry on eating his breakfast; the confrontation proved more severe with broken windows and eventually handcuffs.

Upon their divorce, Penn stated that he still loved Madonna but acknowledged the difficulty of remaining friends with an ex-spouse without having to raise children together. "She’s someone I love," he stated, adding that the process of getting back together was not long as complicated with his second wife, Robin Wright, because of their children.

Madonna Clears Penn's Name

Speculations about Penn’s aggression began when Madonna filed for the first time for a dissolution of their marriage in 1987, a process that involved accusations of physical abuse. But such allegations were strongly refuted by Madonna herself.

In a final 2015 affidavit during Penn’s defamation case against Lee Daniels, who had compared Penn to another actor accused of spousal abuse, Madonna asserted, "Sean has never struck me, tied me up, or physically assaulted me" and called all such reports "outrageous, malicious, reckless, and false." This defamation lawsuit, which Penn commenced after Daniels’ comments in a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, concluded with a public apology from Daniels accompanied by a donation to CORE, an organisation co-founded by Penn, an indication that his activism hasn’t ceased.

Penn is now 63 years old and continues to be active in Hollywood as well as in humanitarian organizations. He ended his marriage with his third wife, Leila George, in April 2022 and spoke to the Times about his current stance on relationships and freedom.

"If I’m going to be in a relationship, I’m still going to be free, or I’m not going to be in it, and I’m not going to be hurting. I don’t sense I’ll have my heart broken by romance again." he said.

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