Actor Sean Penn has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Philly-born Empire director Lee Daniels. The complaint, which was filed today in the New York Supreme Court, states that, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Daniels suggested that Penn hit women by comparing him to Empire star and Lafayette Hill-based actor Terrence Howard. As we reported last fall, Howard has “been accused of assaulting, hitting, attacking or grabbing women six different times, including an incident with a total stranger in a Montgomery County diner. Only two of the alleged incidents led to criminal charges, and Howard was found guilty of ‘disorderly conduct’ both times.”
Lee Daniels and his fellow creators of Empire are facing a $300 million lawsuit filed by a woman named Sophia Eggleston, who claims her life story was used to create the hit Fox show.
Eggleston, a native of Detroit claims to be the real-life version of Empire diva Cookie Lyon (played by Taraji P. Henson). Eggleston says the show is based off her own memoir, which she wrote several years ago. The memoir, entitled The Hidden Hand, outlines her “early drug lifestyle.” According to the suit, Eggleston traveled to Los Angeles back in 2011 and gave screenwriter Rita Miller a copy of her book. Several months later, Miller called up Eggleston to inform her of plans to pitch the memoir to Lee Daniels.
Actor Bradley Cooper, director-producer Lee Daniels, pop star Taylor Swift and comedian Kevin Hart were named today to the Time 100 list, the magazine’s annual naming of the world’s most influential people.
The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia hosted its annual awards celebration last night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 10 awards were given out to notable individuals and business who have made a difference in arts and business in Philadelphia.
The honors included The PNC Arts Alive Award for Innovation in honor of Peggy Amsterdam which was given to InLiquid, Business & Arts Partnership Award: Large Business with an Arts & Cultural Organization, which acknowledged “Art at the Airport” for its expansive art exhibitions. Individual honorees included Andrea Wikerd of Ernst & Young (Business on Board Volunteer Leader of the Year), David Othmer, retired station manager at WHYY (Business Volunteer for the Arts Volunteer of the Year), James Holman, partner, Duane Morris LLP (Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Volunteers of the Year), and director Lee Daniels, who was recognized with the Anne d’Harnoncourt Award for Artistic Excellence.
After the awards ceremony was a cocktail party with a Stephen Starr buffet and entertainment by the West Philadelphia Orchestra.