Sean Penn addresses long-standing Madonna assault rumors: ‘She’s someone I love’

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Sean Penn addresses long-standing Madonna assault rumors: ‘She’s someone I love’

Sean Penn is setting the record straight.

The actor was married to Madonna from 1985 to 1989, and for years, there have been rumors that he was physically abusive toward her. In recent years, both he and Madonna have denied those allegations, but now Penn is sharing more about a heated moment in the former couple’s marriage.

“I had a freaking SWAT team come into my house,” he told the New York Times when asked about the truth behind the fight rumors. He explained that the team came because Madonna had told police that he had guns in the home, and she was concerned.

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Sean Penn and Madonna were married from 1985 to 1989. (Getty Images)

“I said, ‘I’m not coming out. I’m going to finish my breakfast,'” he remembered. “The next thing I knew, windows were being broken all around the house, and they came in.”

He added, “They had me in handcuffs.”

The “Mystic River” star said that later he heard reports that he “trussed her up like a turkey.” He said, “I didn’t know what ‘trussed up’ meant, first.”

Penn realized that the rumors had escalated when, after a “lovely night” with another woman, “She’s looking at me like I killed her dog” as she asked him “about this hitting Madonna in the head with a baseball bat.”

Sean Penn on the red carpet

Sean Penn rejects rumors that he once hit Madonna with a baseball bat. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

He said, “I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. Now I think it’s fair to say that I’m not the biggest guy in the world. But if I hit Mike Tyson in the head with a baseball bat, he’s going to the hospital.”

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Although it has been 35 years since the two called it quits, Penn now refers to Madonna as “someone I love,” noting, “It turns out it’s a lot quicker to repair a friendship after divorce if there are not kids involved.”

In 2015, Madonna commented on the rumors about her marriage to Penn in an affidavit for a lawsuit Penn filed against Lee Daniels.

Madonna performing

Madonna has said that Sean Penn did not abuse her. (Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Live Nation)

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Daniels discussed the backlash against actor Terrenace Howard after he admitted to physically abusing his wife. In an offhanded remark, Daniels said that Howard “ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn,” which led to Penn filing a $10 million defamation suit against him, per Variety.

Madonna shared a statement for the lawsuit which read, “I am aware of the allegations that have surfaced over the years accusing Sean of incidents of physical assault and abuse against me. Specifically, I am aware of the allegations concerning an alleged incident that occurred in June 1987, whereby (according to tabloid reports) Sean allegedly struck me with ‘a baseball bat’. I know the allegations in those and other reports to be completely outrageous, malicious and false.”

Madonna wearing a multiprint dress walking alongside Sean Penn in a blue grey shirt

Madonna and Sean Penn in 1986. (Getty Images)

The statement continued, “I am also aware of allegations concerning an incident that occurred in December 1989, which purportedly resulted in Sean’s arrest for domestic assault and battery against me. I know those allegations to be false. While we certainly had more than one heated argument during our marriage, 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.”

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In 2016, the suit was settled with Daniels issuing a public apology to Penn and making a donation to the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, now known as CORE, a charity founded by Penn.

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