Sean Penn has been in the news quite a bit lately, with his engagement to Charlize Theron, with his joke at the Oscars, and now his terrible movie, The Gunman, being released into theaters.
Whenever Sean Penn’s name comes up, in the comments of our site, someone invariably reminds us of what a terrible guy he allegedly once was. I am reminded that — after a prank in which Woody Harrelson staged Penn’s abduction during filming of The Thin Red Line — Penn drove Harrelson miles out into the Australian outback, in the middle of the night, with no food, no water and no way home except on foot, and ditched him there.
But the commenters always return to this account (via The Boston Globe and The Daily Mail) of how badly he allegedly abused Madonna when they were married. Every time I see it, it feels shocking all over again. I mean, I knew their relationship was rocky, and I knew he was abusive, but this? Could it be true? It’s insane.
From The Daily Mail:
In June 1987, Madonna went to the Cedars Sinai hospital for an X-ray after Penn apparently hit her across the head with a baseball bat. At the time, they had been having a heart-to-heart talk about reconciling.
Madonna did not make an official complaint because Penn was about to serve a short jail term for attacking a film extra. He served 33 days of a 60-day sentence in the Los Angeles County jail (23 hours a day in solitary) for violating the probation he’d been given for punching a fan.
He was released into his wife’s arms, only for her to throw him out of a taxi a few hours later after yet another set-to.
Their violent arguments were exhausting for everyone, but Madonna hesitated to admit that the marriage had failed. Though she saw lawyers about getting a divorce, she hung on for a full year to see if it could be saved.
It was a decision she would come to regret. In the late afternoon of December 28, 1989, Penn scaled the wall surrounding the Malibu house and found Madonna alone in the master bedroom.
According to a report filed by Madonna with the Malibu sheriff’s office, the two began to quarrel. Penn told her he owned her ‘lock, stock and barrel’.
When she told him she was leaving the house, he tried to bind her hands with an electric lamp and cord. Screaming and afraid, Madonna fled from the bedroom. What followed was a nine-hour ordeal which left her deeply shaken.
Penn chased her into the living room, caught her and bound her to a chair with heavy twine. Then he threatened to cut off her hair.
According to the police report, Penn was ‘drinking liquor straight from the bottle’ and the abuse went on for several hours, during which time he smacked and roughed up his victim.
He went out to buy more alcohol, leaving Madonna bound and gagged. Some hours later, he returned and continued his attacks.
Madonna said that he untied her after she agreed to perform a degrading sex act on him. She then fled the house and ran to her car.
Penn ran after her and was banging on the windows of her Thunderbird while she spoke to police on her mobile phone. Fifteen minutes later, she staggered into the sheriff’s office.
Lieut Bill McSweeny said: ‘I hardly recognised her as Madonna. She was weeping, her lip was bleeding and she had obviously been struck.’
Penn was taken away in handcuffs and charged with inflicting ‘corporal injury and traumatic conditions’ on her, as well as committing ‘battery’.
Madonna finally filed for divorce a week later, although she dropped the assault charges.
via The Daily Mail