Deborah Brando and her 13-year-old daughter filed a lawsuit against Brando in Superior Court on Tuesday for violation of their civil rights, assault, domestic violence, battery and emotional distress.
They are seeking unspecified damages, attorney Brian Oxman said.
Brando attorney Bruce Margolin said neither he nor Brando had seen the lawsuit and could not comment on it.
Brando pleaded guilty to charges of spousal abuse in January and was sentenced to drug and alcohol rehab and three years of probation.
The lawsuit alleges he "repeatedly struck Ms. Brando with his hands and fists and threatened to kill her in the presence of her daughter." He allegedly forced Deborah Brando to have sexual intercourse, threatening to suffocate her with a pillow.
The lawsuit also claims Brando would chase his stepdaughter and once threatened to "to cut her up into a million pieces."
"There was no physical contact with Deborah's daughter, but she was put in fear for her life," Oxman said.
In one instance, Brando asked his ex-wife to register a gun in her name because he was a convicted felon and could not own a gun, the lawsuit alleges.
Brando and his ex-wife met in 1990, the same year he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of his half-sister's boyfriend Dag Drollet. Brando served five years in prison.
He and Deborah Brando moved into the home of his father, Marlon Brando, a month after the actor's death on July 1, 2004.
They married in October 2004 and divorced earlier this year, Oxman said.
Brando gained recent notoriety as a witness in Robert Blake's civil trial, where he refused to testify, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Blake's lawyers had hinted that Brando may have killed Blake's wife Bonny Lee Bakley. At one time, Bakley claimed Brando, a former boyfriend, had fathered her daughter Rose until DNA tests proved Blake was the father.