April 25, 2014

Tag Archives: Ranger Task Force

Sean Penn talks about his son’s life-threatening accident

HollywoodNews.com: “She is a ghost to me now,” Sean Penn tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Douglas Brinkley of actress Robin Wright Penn. “We spent all those years together…. Now she’s just gone.”
Brinkley travels to Haiti, where Penn talks about Robin, their son Hopper’s life-threatening skateboarding accident, and what he’s doing to help rebuild the nation post-earthquake. When Penn was presented with a military coin and several honorary certificates of commendation for his service in the Haitian crisis, Lieutenant General P. K. Keen “gave me this look in the eye—a look of pride,” Penn tells Brinkley. “It meant more to me than any movie award.”
When Hopper sustained a head injury in a skateboarding accident, Penn and Robin pulled together at the hospital, praying for their son, Brinkley reports. “He underwent risky surgery due to intense bleeding of the brain,” Penn says, “and he pulled through.” Brinkley reports that Hopper’s brush with disaster was life-changing for his father. Feeling a karmic debt had to be repaid, Penn started the painful process of re-assessing his life’s priorities. He drove out to Palm Springs to spend time with T Bone Burnett, the composer-producer who helped Bob Dyl an find Jesus in the 1970s.
Since January, Penn has lived full-time, with the exception of a couple of brief trips—one to Washington, D.C., to testify on the Hill for more Haitian relief—in a tent not much bigger than an army surplus locker. Penn—along with the organization he started with Sarajevo-born philanthropist Diana Jenkins—was recently made official “camp manager” of Port-au-Prince displaced persons facility that has housed some 50,000 earthquake survivors. “I wanted to give back something more to help struggling people, but I didn’t know how to best do it,” Penn tells Brinkley. “I was for 20 years in a relationship with Robin and 18 years with children. I didn’t have time to commit to anything—for real—in places like Iraq, except to denounce the war. But now I’m single. I can lend a hand.”
Penn had been Hopper’s guardian, he tells Brinkley, and “he had just gone back to being with his mother on an experimental basis. I was putzing around at home, missing Hopper….I had never been to Haiti before. I couldn’t fathom the high death toll. So, like everybody else, I started tracking the news. I saw all those traumatized people getting Civil War medicine on TV. People were being given ibuprofen or alcohol [...]