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Warner Bros. airs its dirty laundry on Charlie Sheen

In its letter dismissing Charlie Sheen from the CBS show "Two and a Half Men," lawyers for Warner Bros. dumped out the company's basket of dirty laundry on the actor.

Sheen "has been engaged in dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill," the letter from the firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP to attorney Marty Singer said. Sheen's condition "undermined the production in numerous and significant ways" and ultimately left Warner Bros., the producers of the hit sitcom, no choice but to pull the plug on the show and subsequently on himself.

SHEENWINNING "Warner Bros. would not, could not, and should not attempt to continue `business as usual' while Mr. Sheen destroys himself as the world watches," the letter said.

Sheen's camp leaked the letter to Singer to the gossip site TMZ, and its contents were subsequently confirmed by people familiar with the matter. Sheen told the site that his firing was good news.

The letter firing Sheen is the latest back-and-forth between the actor and Warner Bros., CBS and Chuck Lorre, the co-creator and executive producer of "Two and a Half Men." Production on the show was suspended for four episodes in January so Sheen could go to a rehabilitation facility after a series of incidents that included hospital trips and run-ins with the law. Sheen opted to be treated at home and soon declared himself ready to return to work.

Warner Bros., CBS and Lorre weren't buying Sheen's miracle cure and after the actor went on a media tour trashing all three, production for the entire season was suspended.

Sheen and his legal team have argued that Warner Bros. is in breach of his contract for ending production of this season, but the lawyers for Warner Bros. counter that it is the actor who has overstepped his bounds, not the studio.

Sheen's "self-destructive conduct resulted in his hospitalization, his inability to work at all for a period and the rapid erosion of the cooperative and creative process necessary to produce the show," the studio's lawyers said. Sheen is described as missing rehersals and not being prepared for filming. The letter goes on to say that Sheen's admitted drug use and "furnishing of cocaine" to others puts him in violation of his contract. "There is ample evidence supporting Warner Bros. reasonable good faith opinion that Mr. Sheen has committed felony offenses involving moral turpitude ... that have interfered with his ability to fully and completely render all material services required" under his contract.

Interestingly, the letter acknowledges that Warner Bros., CBS and Lorre were previously willing to overlook Sheen's various issues with the law and substance abuse to keep the show going.

"While it was not anywhere close to an ideal working situation, Warner Bros. and CBS as well as Mr. Lorre continued to make accommodations for the off-camera (yet very public) aspects of Mr. Sheen's life," the letter said, adding "at each step, Warner Bros. CBS and Mr. Lorre expressed their wholehearted support for Mr. Sheen and concern for his health and well-being."

That may give fuel to critics who say that Sheen's bosses were willing to look the other way when he got into legal scrapes and was accused of violence toward women including his wives, but got tough when he started trashing them.

Sheen's lawyer Marty Singer said Warner Bros. claims are without merit and that he expects to file a suit against the studio later this week.

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-- Joe Flint

Photo: Charlie Sheen. Credit: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters.

For the record: This post was updated to include comment from Sheen's lawyer Martin Singer.

 
Comments () | Archives (76)

I'm so glad that Emilio Estevez is replacing Charlie. We'll hardly notice the difference.

It's actually sad to see him breaking down on national television.

This is so sad.

He is such a gifted and talented artist with so much to offer the world. I hope he gets back on a hit show soon.

I for one believe artists need to be given a little slack when it comes to this kind of stuff. They give so much to the world that they shouldn't have to play by the same rules as teachers, cops, doctors etc...

Good Luck Charlie. You will be back in our lives soon.

So the shrill is gone

What will they call it now? "Two men" ?

why, in all of this, is no one addressing his violence against women?

With so few episodes left to complete a total of 200....I'm sure the writers can cover Charlie Sheen's absence easily. He's in Mexico, he's at the studio, he's run off with Rose.....whatever....just use the other very talented actors. They should be paid handsomely for their final year together and for putting up with Sheen all these years. The next time we see him it will be on a "Whatever happened to...." show. Great job by the way....Chuck Lorre...it's all about the writing!!!!!

Look people, I can't be the only one to see the obvious solution to this little showbiz spat-- replace Charlie Sheen with Joran van der Sloot. He's rested, perhaps even tanned-- has hit a few rough spots with the temper thing-- and also like Charlie has had the odd run-in or two with gals-- nothing CBS can't look the other way on if the ratings are there-- he's probably even had some practice turning tin cans into all maner of useful product-- he's taller-- he's younger-- can probably effectively parrot lines fed to him off camera to convulsive canned laughter-- has that same dopey stare a seagull fixes on a dead grunion-- LIKES TO PARTY! And get this-- when the Joran van der Sloot story is made, who better to play him than the unemployed Charlie Sheen? How's that for reciprocity?


I love all the people who claim the show is over.....how can the show go on without him?

How easy people forget.....This second "career" rebirth that Sheen had was due to him replacing, an "unreplaceable" actor.....Michael J Fox on Spin City.

timelimit, The man is getting less and less connected to reality. I suspect anyone who thinks he has tiger blood and Adonis DNA could benefit from some serious intervention. Now back in the real world. Even if your theory is correct. Employee going on television and insulting the boss. Yup that will get you fired. You didn't know that? You thought someone with Adonis blood wouldn't get fired? Grow up. No one is irreplacable amd that includes old tiger blood.
I suspect it is the writers that have much more to do with the success of the show than the schmuck that parrots the words for the camera. The cleverness of a show is based on the story not how much tiger blood one of the actors has.
High time "mr thinks a lot of himself" learned what every other working person has known most of their life. You don't insult the boss in public and expect to keep your job.

Phlegm fire misting the heart.

Shows the kindergarten mentality of the networks.
It's ok if he goes crazy on Christmas Eve and threatens his wife but when he talks smack about some powerful studio dude he gets sacked. Egos, egos, egos and money.
Television shows are not art and have no redeeming values except to make money. It's a non permanent medium that has no cultural importance and will be relegated to the dust bin of history. In 25 to 50 years, nobody will remember this show or all these shows. In 200 years...?

"Sheen's bosses were willing to look the other way when he got into legal scrapes and was accused of violence toward women including his wives, but got tough when he started trashing them." Well, yes. Exactly.

Not that I'm defending Sheen. Sheen has contributed to this mess in such a monumental way and left his enablers with no way out.

I'm not exactly buying Warner Bros' "holier than thou" attitude here, but Sheen had it coming.

anything like being kicked when one is down? with the legacy of smothering brothers, this is on par for corporate america.

Yeah, Charlie is expendable, but wasn't it Nina Tassler, the head of CBS programming, who said "how do you fire a man for doing his job?"
I guess by having his producer write stupid vanity cards insulting him. That'll teach your employees!

The people who run CBS are the biggest hypocrites on the planet.

I've always thought it was an ensemble piece anyway - there's a huge amount of talent in all of the other cast members. Jake growing up with memories of Uncle Charlie and trying to emulate him; Alan desperately trying to stop that, his mother and Berta stepping into the breach plus Judith tugging at all of them. The writing staff is strong enough to pull that together and it would be better than many of the sitcoms currently airing.

New TV show idea: Mr. Sheen and Mr. Galliano are lost on a desert island. Mr. Sheen discovers he hates women as much as Mr. Galliano. They grudgingly become pals. They dress up in stylish tropical plants. They discover trippy fungus. They tell tales around the campfire. Will their friendship blossom into something more?

... stay tuned.

It is sad to realize how many production jobs depend on a druggie like Sheen. His illness gets out of control, and the show gets cancelled.He should be ashamed of himself. (or even better, go and get some treatment)

A person with a brain disease referred to as mental condition combined with a drug addiction generally self medicates and asks for help in some form. Sheen, for those old enough to remember, you may recall the allegations of fist fight with his father Martin Sheen (AKA "Estevez") during the filming of Platoon (1980's) in the Philippines and drugs, liquor and prostitutes. The mental issue left untreated or medication combined with liquor or other drugs can cause a havoc and dangers. Sheen should be left alone and let him deal with his mental issues and replaced on the show. There are many choices just as General Hospital a daily show replaced actors. The show is a business and besides that Americans have very short memories.

Robert Downey Jr will be great as replacement of Charlie Sheen. Saving the rest of the cast and crew is a good idea and RD is a helluva great actor.. big lost if the show stop now

Is art immitating life or life immitating art? Possibly Charlie's grand delusion of a private hell.

2.5 men is basically the old Andy Griffith Show- moved to malibu and turned on.
sheen is andy, cryer is barney and angus is opie. they don't go fishing and don't work, just drink and whore. and america loves it. nothing new under the sun really.

if charlie had just kept the law out of the soup and not insulted a jew, all would still be groovy.

will be interesting to watch this one play out.

hmmmm....

so suddenly WB, CBS and the producers have grounds (or make that focus group support)

right after the storyline has Harper flying off to Paris? (or so the reports go)

they say timing is everything!

Warner Brothers is right to fire Charlie Sheen because he killed Charlie Harper
I have been a long time fan of Two and a Half Men because of great writing and acting. The show allowed the audience to enjoy the fun side of a wealthy, boozing, whore chasing, self- indulgent, jingle writing misfit - Charlie Harper. But now for the last 3 weeks we have been force fed the dark side of a wealthy, drug and fame addicted, porn star chasing, self-indulgent actor – Charlie Sheen. And the worst part is he looks just like Charlie Harper would 2 days after he died. It’s time to accept that Charlie Sheen has killed Charlie Harper so we can all move on just wait for the trail.

Why should this piece of crap get so much publicity when real men are dieing for our freedom and not being even recognized, put a uniform on and show us what your made of,real tough guy beating up girl friends and wife's,only half men do that.

 
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