Sean Penn Addresses False Claim He Hit Ex-Wife Madonna with a Baseball Bat: 'She's Someone I Love'

"It turns out it’s a lot quicker to repair a friendship after divorce if there are not kids involved," he said

<p>Tommaso Boddi/Getty;  Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Sean Penn; Madonna

Tommaso Boddi/Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty

Sean Penn; Madonna

Sean Penn is addressing past rumors that he was physically abusive toward ex-wife Madonna.

The Daddio actor was married to the singer from 1985 to 1989. In 1987 there were allegations that he had hit Madonna with a baseball bat, which she has denied, among other accusations of abuse.

In an interview with The New York Times published June 22, Penn, now 63, was asked about the rumors and recalled, “I had a freaking SWAT team come into my house," adding that it was a time when Madonna told police about guns in the house.

Penn continued, "I said: ‘I’m not coming out. I’m going to finish my breakfast.’ The next thing I knew, windows were being broken all around the house and they came in. They had me in handcuffs."

Related: Madonna's Dating History: From Sean Penn to Guy Ritchie

Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Madonna and Sean Penn in August 1986
Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Madonna and Sean Penn in August 1986

The Oscar winner said he was aware there were claims in the media that he had "trussed [Madonna] up like a turkey." He also said there was a time one woman asked him "about this hitting Madonna in the head with a baseball bat."

"I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about,” said Penn of his response. "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."

Penn added of Madonna, “She’s someone I love," and said of reaching friendly terms after their split, "It turns out it’s a lot quicker to repair a friendship after divorce if there are not kids involved."

A rep for Madonna has not commented.

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<p>Amy Sussman/Variety via Getty</p> Sean Penn on Jan. 5, 2024

Amy Sussman/Variety via Getty

Sean Penn on Jan. 5, 2024

In 2015, Madonna denied the abuse allegations via an affidavit used in court as Penn sued Lee Daniels for defamation after the filmmaker said Empire star Terrence Howard's public admission of hitting his first wife was the same as Penn. The $10 million lawsuit was eventually settled.

Penn said to The Times, “Not only did we win the case, but Daniels wrote a public letter and he had to contribute to CORE," which is the actor's nonprofit Community Organized Relief Effort.

Madonna said in her affidavit at the time, “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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