I think it’s interesting that in all of Sean Penn’s biggest relationships in the past fifteen years or so, his partners run screaming from the Hamface at some point. Not only that, they’re doing immediate breakups or divorces with no backsliding and, in Charlize Theron’s case, utterly ghosting him. I feel like Sean Penn is obviously an angry, gross guy, but there’s some aspect of his personality or behavior which must be like turning off a light switch and suddenly women just need to GTFO as soon as possible. I mean, I have my theories about what he’s really like, but I’ll keep quiet on this one until we know more. Sean Penn’s young wife just left him and suddenly filed for divorce. He married Leila George in the summer of 2020, and they only married after he put her through hell and then “won her back.” He’s 61, she’s 29. He’s one year younger than her dad, Vincent D’Onofrio.
Sean Penn’s actress wife just waved the white flag on their union … because she filed for divorce after just over one year of marriage. Sean’s wife, Australian actress Leila George, filed divorce docs Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court … according to online records.
Sean and Leila, the daughter of actor Vincent D’Onofrio, tied the knot in July 2020 during the height of the pandemic … getting hitched in a lowkey family wedding at their home.
They started dating way back in 2016 and did not have any children together. It’s unclear what led to the split. This will be the third divorce for Sean … he was previously married to actress Robin Wright from 1996 to 2010 and his first marriage to Madonna lasted from 1985 to 1989.
It will be interesting to see what – if anything – comes out about this. The age thing is absolutely a huge factor – a 32-year age difference is a huge chasm, and they got together when she was like 24 or 25 years old. He seems moody, angry and controlling, just in general, and I would imagine it’s even worse when he’s in a relationship. One bright spot here is that Leila seemingly made a clean break, and she has family and connections who will protect her. Another bright spot is that Penn is going to give a bunch of interviews about how he’s a sad sack and women disappoint him constantly and no one really loves him. LOL.
PS… As I was looking for photos of Leila and Sean together, it occurred to me that she didn’t go to Cannes with him, nor was she around for any of his promotion for Flag Day. Meanwhile, Leila was just her dad’s plus-one to the premiere of The Eyes of Tammy Faye. I wonder if this marriage imploded months ago? The last time they were photographed together was in May, at Vaxx Live.
Photos courtesy of Getty, Backgrid and Avalon Red.
Has she finally realised he was her dads “classmate” 😀😀😀
He abused Madonna but she oddly calls him the love of her life? Right?
Abuse victims still love their abusers. Will protect them no matter what. The victim will put his life and well being above hers each and every time.
I can be harsh sith Madonna for a lot of reasons, but not on this one.
When Seann Penn is involved she behaves like a text-book dv victim.
does she still say that? I know she said it in Truth or Dare, but that was years ago, when she was on the Like a Virgin tour. I’m curious about that (but not curious enough to goggle it, lol).
I’m not a Madonna fan, but find her a very interesting individual. she has a very brash persona, but I suspect there is also a hurt and frightened little girl locked away in there – and the brashness and ferocity are a means of guarding herself.
32 year age gap! He must have kids that are older than her. I’m dying to know Kaiser’s theories on what he’s like. Certainly when Charlize dropped him cold that told us something. Maybe women think he will be like Spicoli and for awhile he fools them but eventually his true nature comes out.
What I find interesting is that she was her dad’s date to his premiere so recently. Last we heard they were estranged from one another.
The premiere could almost seem more like a chess move when you think about it from a career perspective, although I do hope they’re genuinely mending their relationship, not just protecting her casting prospects.
Also, she’s wearing her wedding ring – or *a* ring, at least – in the photo with Vincent. So either she didn’t want questions . . . or she’s following in Charlize’s footsteps and surprising Penn with their break up.
They made a movie together a couple of years ago where he was the director, so I gather the relationship is very complicated, and he uses his position to get her roles to try and buy her love. She probably married Sean Penn because of abandonment and father issues with D’Onofrio and seeking the affection and approval of an older man. It probably also angered her father, which is the reason a lot of young people make poor decisions.
I think like Charlize, and Katie Holmes with Tom Cruise, with abusive partners you have to make a surprise clean cut if you want to get out of their clutches.
Bullet dodged. Hopefully not literally. Very glad she’s also getting out before they had a kid. Make a clean break and run for the hills!!
Yes, I completely agree that she probably dodged a bullet. I’m old enough to remember that Madonna filed a report with the police that very strongly implied that she’d been abused by him. The police, if I remember correctly, were totally convinced, and then a few days later Madonna dropped the charges. Years later, Madonna denied the abuse, but at the very least, Sean has a public history of getting very angry and physical. Brrr.
Tied her to a chair and beat her over 9 hours according to police reports at the time. There was another incident where she was seen by a doctor after being hit in the head with a baseball bat by him. I don’t beleive her recent denials.
I remember that too. And I heard similar from people who knew Robin Wright when they were together… To Marcel Marcel’s points below, it is curious that Madonna later denied/retracted it all… v sad…
I think that Penn is incredibly abusive. Plus he’s cocooned by wealth and fame. This opinion is based on the police report. And how his relationships generally end in the womxn making a completely clean break and not discussing why.
I also think Madonna probably either
A) didn’t want to deal with the fallout of explicitly naming him as her abuser. For the rest of her it’d come up in interviews etc… Our society isn’t equipped to support DV survivors. So maybe Madonna backtracked the statements so she wouldn’t be pressured into endlessly revisiting a traumatic relationship.
B) She no longer remembers the abuse. Because her psyche has protected her by reshaping those traumatic memories into a narrative she can live with. And that narrative involved believing he isn’t abusive even tho he is. Trauma can really mess with your memories.
Obviously I don’t know her. But those seem like the most likely scenarios based on my experiences with DV.
I would not say she entirely dodged the bullet, but hopefully it only grazed her.
This guy only goes for women that are exactly alike — 25 years old, blonde, classic beauty faces (Madonna, Robin, Charlese). Never understand why women allow guys to choose them solely because they fit into a standard mold, and are utterly replaceable. “Insert IT girl here”.
I can certainly see why he was attracted to those various women, but WTF attracted them to him? Especially in more recent years, he is aging so terribly. I don’t believe it’s because he’s, you know, packing.
Yeah, he was with Scarlett Johansson for a New York minute too but that blew up as well. I imagine he does the whole love-bombing thing at first then the real Sean — the manipulative, tempermental, arrogant POS — shows up and women bolt. I’ve known that type, you suddenly have a “what was I thinking!?!?” moment and come to your senses.
She looks a lot like Robin Wright. Glad she got out. Way too young and he is nothing but baggage.Penn is an good actor but yikes, run for the hills ladies.
I can’t believe it’s already 5 years since Charlize dropped and ghosted him.
I used to work in Marin and saw him once in person. Dude really is the color of a ham.
“Dude really is the color of a ham.”
LOL, thank you for this hilarious insight!
@Yup, me omg i used to work in Marin County, too! I worked at this over-priced grocery store in Kentfield (it was like a family owned Whole Foods) and this was when Sean Penn and Robin Wright were still married. I had the misfortune of having to help him a couple times while he was shopping and he is as rude as they come. And really, really weird. He used to sometimes come in the store dressed totally normal and other times he’d come in with a beanie on pulled down low and act he didn’t want to be seen. We all Knew it was him though lol. Robin was always super sweet and very normal. I never saw them come in at the same time though.
Woodlands Market! Used to live nearby and loved that place. I remember bodyguards stopping traffic on SFD Blvd to make sure Sean Penn could get his morning run in without the indignity of waiting for a green light. Also had a good friend who worked with him on a few philanthropic ventures. In that realm he was earnest and seemed to care about the cause, but he was SO unnecessarily surly, ALL THE TIME.
I barely knew anything about this marriage, and still, I’m relieved for her.
Leila is her mother’s daughter, my goodness they look just alike.
Yes! Exactly her mother at that age!
But GURRRRRL, WHAT were you thinking???? Can you imagine that old, wizened Ham heaving over on top of you, most likely smelling of sweat, booze, and cigarettes?? WHAT was the attraction??
A lot of people are attracted to someone’s personality, and looks don’t matter all that much. At first I assume he was pretty charming until he showed his true colors. Everyone saying they don’t know what anyone sees in him are just focusing on his outward appearance, that’s just not how it works.
Makes me think of the John Hiatt song lyric
“Lucky for you child … you look like your momma “
I was thinking she looked like Glenne Headly, but after googling, yes, she’s her mother’s spitting image.
I didn’t even know he had gotten married. I have seen photos of him with this woman and legit thought he was being pictured with his daughter.
Was just going to say, I didn’t either.
So was I. When did they get married as it didn’t make any major news reports. Just be glad that she is out and safe! Hopefully single women will realize he is the monster that he is and they all stay clear of him!
I see it was July 2020, mid pandemic, so there were bigger fish to fry.
I guess he met his match with Robyn Wright,she managed a couple of decades.
Or she was more trapped than the others and it took her longer to get free?
@SFK I totally agree. Robin Wright had children with Penn. Leaving your abuser is super complicated and dangerous. It’s dangerous to stay and it’s dangerous to leave (Leslie Morgan Steiner covered why in her ted talk). If you have kids then you’re also doing your best to protect them with whatever choices you make.
Angelina Jolie is an example of this happening in the public sphere. She’s an incredibly wealthy white cis womxn. Even those privileges aren’t enough in a patriarchal society with a justice system stacked against DV survivors.
Over the years I have heard the stories about Leila’s parents’ relationship. When Leila started dating Sean, I figured it stemmed from her having “daddy issues.” I had those issues myself when I was younger, big time. I’m hoping things are better with her dad and I hope she finds an incredible love in the future.
Yes. I’d read somewhere that Vincent and Sean were old friends and, Leila might have known Sean as a family friend prior to getting with him. If her relationship with her dad was troubled she might have, subconsciously, gotten with a very charming Sean to get back at Vincent. I don’t know how she could ignore his very public violent past but maybe she didn’t want to see it. (shrug) Glad she got out safely though.
Just googled her to figure out how Vincent Donofrio’s daughter is Australian. Okay so she was born in Australia but grew up in England then lived in Australia a bit as a young adult but has been in the US since her mid 20s. Doesn’t seem like she actually spent much time around Donofrio growing up. But how in the world did a well educated international beauty fall for Sean Penn in the first place? Some star stuck kid I could understand but child of celebs who’s been around celebs her whole life??
Yes I was a bit confused as I’d never really heard of her but she must have Aussie citizenship/passport. Her Mum is Greta Scacchi, who is Italian-Australian and does lots of work in Australia but also partly grew up in Britain: a great actress and by all accounts a nice lady but … issues. Greta married her actual first cousin after Vincent I believe, which was quite the scandal.
Some commenters seem really confuse as to why Lelia ended up with Sean Penn. It shows a lack of compassion or knowledge about DV. In my opinion he is a serial abuser protected by wealth and success.
I recommend reading ‘The Men Who Hate Women & the Women Who Love Them’ by Joan Torres and Susan Forward. I also recommend Leslie Morgan Steiner Ted talk called ‘Why domestic violence victims don’t leave’. There’s loads of fantastic resources if you want to support DV survivors by deepening your understanding on the topic.
Sean Penn’s public persona and relationship trajectories have all the classic warning signs of an incredibly abusive man.
Thanks for these resources MarcelMarcel! I watched an interview with Marlon Wayans recently, talking about playing Aretha Franklin’s abusive husband in the new biopic. And he said he tried to make it a nuanced, sympathetic character, because he felt like it disrespected Aretha to present him with no redeeming qualities, to not show why she loved him. That there’s a reason women stay in these relationships and it’s not because they’re stupid.
I haven’t seen it and I don’t know how I would feel watching it. But I do think that it helps for abused people to feel like their experiences are not unusual and not their own foolishness. I was only in one abusive relationship, not especially violent, but very abusive. I was 17, he was older and wiser, and it took years for me to even name it because I was so ashamed that something like that could happen to educated, cosmopolitan, feminist me.
@SophieJara I’m so glad you got away from him.
It’s a part of why I really respect Rachel Evan Woods and the people who helped pass the Phoenix Act. I’m sure it’s already helped survivors get justice.
And I love that observation you shared from the director of the Aretha Franklin.
I feel you on the belated realisations. It took me at least a year to process my sexual assault to the point that I could name it.
Those are excellent books, for all women to read. I think it’s important to read up on all types of men as you never know what a man is truly like until you are far deep into the relationship and might be married. It’s important to see the signs of an abusive monster and get out while you see the signs, no matter how you feel about them.
Ignorance maybe. Lack of compassion seems harsh. I didn’t ask why she stayed with him as long as she did. I know abusive relationships are complicated. The one I was in hadn’t yet escalated to physical violence, but after two years of controlling behavior and verbal abuse, I got out only because he left for two months on a work thing and I slowly started to realize I couldn’t possibly let him come back into my life, and even then it wasn’t easy. He continued to try to control me. But actually this guy was a lot like my father (though he was my age) and that’s why he felt familiar/safe at first. I hate to think that’s how Vincent D’Onofrio is because I’m such a fan, but I really know zilch about him. I didn’t know he had a daughter until today.
@BettyRose Just to clarify, I wasn’t thinking of you when I made the observation that some commenters lack compassion. Domestic violence is nuanced and traumatic, it’s wildly misunderstood which feeds the cycle. I’m still learning how to support myself and other survivors cope with the aftermath. Just shared two solid resources for anyone else who wants to learn.
I’m not naming anyone individually cuz that’s mean spirited. But there are some commenters who are lacking in compassion and could choose to cultivate it.
There are other commenters here who have deepened my understanding and left me with important things to think about.
Why hasn’t this violent ahole been canceled already? He beat Madonna, he beat Robin Wright. POS.
Maybe someone keeps losing their sobriety.
So… Sean Penn has a history of domestic violence claims against him and a violent temper. Sean being able to get (and lose) another wife is a case study in “No girl, you won’t be different.”
Johnny Depp’s next potential girlfriend/wife better take notice.
Sean Penn and Johnny Depp’s behaviour are extreme examples of what happens under a patriarchy.
As society we don’t fund emergency housing for DV survivors. We don’t have free and accessible food, clothing and shelter. We don’t provide enough safe spaces for DV survivors in a relationship so they can somewhere and decompress. Therapy is generally so expensive that most people can’t access it regularly. We don’t even openly discuss the warning signs of an abuser. Our society tends to victim blame survivors or call them liars if they come forward. Amber Heard and Evan Rachel Woods are examples of this in different ways. To name just two.
To help end domestic violence we need to provide material support to survivors. We also need to hold abusers accountable for their actions. Ultimately we need to dismantle patriarchy.
Your comment while well intended is heavily steeped in unconstructive victim blaming.
Sorry, not sorry. It sure would help if society would stop with the message that you can change a man and make him better as long as you’re kind, understanding and patient enough with him. And if they would stop putting the failures of men on the previous woman who wasn’t virtuous enough to make him want to be better. Because that is how a man known for fist fights and tying up/beating his previous wives keep getting second chances. And that is dangerous, especially as his prey gets younger and younger. It’s better to point out a stampeding elephant in the room rather than ignoring it while someone else gets hurt.
Well I guess Haylie is going to lean all the way into a lack of empathy for DV, but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you in this thread, Marcel Marcel. You’re hitting on some incredibly important information that the world needs. I’m a DV survivor and I’ve had enough time to heal that at this point I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but I wouldn’t change it for myself either. I learned so much about our world and how we treat women, how we treat men and how we treat power by learning how it could happen to me. Some of the strongest, smartest women I know I met in DV groups. Our entire society is structured so men like this are protected and allowed to keep abusing. I’m glad I can see it now. And I’m glad I know how to support women who are going through it.
Thank you xx I’m a survivor too and I’ve witnessed a lot of things (both done to me and other survivors).
I try to speak up on these threads on behalf of myself and others. Just because DV is such a misunderstood topic people tend to lack knowledge or compassion. I have way more time for those who lack knowledge. But can’t get my head around a lack of empathy.
Had to walk away from this thread before I started rage commenting.
I agree with you- I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone. But now I wouldn’t change it because it’s deepened my understanding of this world. I’ve been given such radical compassion in my healing journey by fellow survivors and had the honour of giving that compassion to other survivors.
61? I thought this ham fumed at least 73. Lufe was hard… he seems angry, out of control and am sure he calls that being passionate. Yeah right. Good for her to gtfo
How did Robin Wright stay with him for so long?! Just shows how shielded and protected he was by the whole world around him.
To protect her two children from having to share custody? By staying married she can have children with her full-time and monitor his behavior towards them? Mom’s do whatever it takes to make sure the kiddies are safe.
@Julia K I had never thought of this as a reason for survivors to stay in an abusive relationship and it makes total sense! Thanks for your insightful comment.
Mother is Greta Scacchi. Looked her up on line and they look so much alike. Parents never married. Good for her walking away from this.
Greta Scacchi is such a total babe, so it makes sense her daughter is so classically beautiful.
I believe Greta also had her career detailed by refusing Harvey Weinsteins advances in the 90s
I always wondered why Scacchi seemed to fade out career-wise. That explains a lot.
Sean has always been a hot mess re substance abuse. If he were a woman, he’d have been out under conservatorship but because he’s a precious white male, he gets to abuse women when the falls off the wagon and everyone worships him still.
Yup, he gets to be a temperamental *artist*!
Why is Hollywood protecting this alleged violent abuser of women? Why does Sean Penn get a pass time and again? Why does he keep getting work? I guess he makes a lot of money for the studio. And that’s what counts the most in this world. $$$$
He certainly has a type.
My god. Not rocket science. Didn’t he kidnap, tie up and abuse Madonna? How is he a Hollywood star? DISGUSTING!!
I’m not amazed that they split but am always amazed at couples who spend years together before they marry and it busts up in a short time after marriage.
@riley sometimes, not always, abusive men keep up an act until they feel like they’ve locked you down. They’ll slip occasionally but love bomb you or make lots of promises and win you back. But then once the ring is on your finger, they flip the final switch. Given Penn’s history, it wouldn’t surprise me of that’s what he did
You can’t do long-term with him but, according to Jewel, he’s super charming and I bet great in bed. He’d have to be. He has such attitude.
Great in bed? 🤢🤢🤢 His abusive relationship with Madonna happened while I was young enough that I have found him revolting my entire post adolescent life. And most of his relationships since then have been not surprisingly with women younger than me (Actually Jewel and I are the same age and I knew someone who went boarding school with her).
I believe Madonna refuted that story. I haven’t followed it that closely. They are still friends. But, yes, great in bed. He seems fearless, going to help Katrina hurricane victims, even though he knew he’d be accused of showboating. Writing articles for the San Francisco Chronicle, even though he has no journalistic credentials. He’s got backbone. He takes chances. I am a middle-aged woman. I don’t know too many men my age who take chances.
I don’t think he takes chances. I think he has an ego the size of all outdoors and thinks of himself as a real-life action hero with the qualifications to be a journalist or anything else he decides to dabble in.
Also, Madonna retracted the police report, yes. I suppose it’s technically not impossible that she made it up out of spite during an argument. But it’s a lot more likely that he really did tie her to a chair for 9 hours and that he hit her in the head with a baseball bat, and that she retracted it for any number of self-protective reasons. Very common with DV, as helpfully elucidated by many other posts on this thread.
There’s not a lot of gray for a misunderstanding in what she reported. It’s horrifying, egregious abuse.
He needs a sword-wielding Amazonian warrior woman. A Swedish wrestler. An African safari guide. Frak it. A covert ninja assassin. He needs a controlling female presence towering over his pineapple cherry ham dish, knife in hand, ready to slice and dice upon one unwelcomed move or decibel change. He’d probably enjoy that. Maybe he’s been looking for domination the whole time lol.
I hope she’s repairing her relationship with her dad (though some of her interviews indicate no problems) and he’s standing by her. Appearing publicly together at a premiere may have been sending a message no one realized at the time.
One year younger than her dad?!?! Come on lady!
He must be very charming and intelligent to get these women hooked on him then unleashes his dark side. I wish all women were taught the signs to look for in an abusive man.
Why is anyone shocked? People still defend Woody Allen.
She looks glorious, young and carefree next to her dad. She looks like a living martyr next to Penn. I’m curious about him “putting her through hell.” What did he do? Does anyone know? Also, I’ve read that it takes an average of 7 years for a domestic violence victim to get out of the relationship. And when she’s trying to leave, she is at her peak of danger.
Happy to say that I’ve never found Sean Penn attractive in an intellectual, physical or any adjective that may have been ascribed to him. Okay, good actor who somehow has hid his true self to some beautiful, talented women. Plus, maybe unfair to SP, I’ve always connected him to David Patrick Kelly’s character in The Warriors looks wise and that has maybe colored my opinion. Only maybe.
Women really need to stop dating and marrying this guy.
I found an interview she did two weeks ago promoting her TV show Animal Kingdom. It was filmed in their house and half of the time Sean was in the background messing with the dogs. It was like he couldn’t let her have her 5 minutes in the spotlight. He even sat there and looked at the camera. The fact this video was so recent, I bet this divorce came as surprise to him.