Sheen sues Warner for $100 million over 'Two and a Half Men' firing, closing

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Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 15, 2011; 7:50 AM

Just when you think you're going to get a day off from covering the Charlie Sheen Scorched Earth story, having sworn to your editor a Charlie Sheen Reporting Abstinence vow, Sheen's attorney goes and files a $100 million lawsuit on behalf of his client against "Two and a Half Men" production house Warner Bros. and executive producer Chuck Lorre.

Sheen's suing for the $100 million - plus punitive damages - over the decision to shutter the hit CBS sitcom for the rest of this season. Oh, and for giving Sheen the sack-a-roo.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court, not only demands that Sheen get paid for the eight episodes of the show that were scrapped this TV season, but the actor also says he's suing on behalf of the entire cast and crew.

"Torpedo away. . . . You corporate Trolls were warned. And now you've been served!" Sheen tweeted early Thursday afternoon, right about the time tabloid Web site TMZ was publishing the legal document. TMZ is one of Charlie's preferred contacts with the outside world since production shut down on "Men."

"Defendant Chuck Lorre, one of the richest men in television who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, believes himself to be so wealthy and powerful that he can unilaterally decide to take money away from the dedicated cast and crew of the popular television series 'Two and a Half Men' in order to serve his own ego and self-interest, and make the star of the Series the scapegoat for Lorre's own conduct," Sheen's attorney, Martin Singer, wrote in the pretty zippy court filing.

Singer alleges that the decision to cancel the eight episodes left this season was made because Lorre hated Sheen and because Lorre allegedly wanted out to focus on his other shows. Lorre also produces CBS sitcoms "The Big Bang Theory" and "Mike & Molly" for Warner Bros. TV. The complaint says that Lorre's contracts on those two shows are much richer than his contract on "Men."

"Men" was the first of the three shows to premiere on CBS. In succession, the network purchased the other two.

Singer alleges that Warner Bros. negotiated Sheen's latest contract when the actor was facing felony charges in Aspen, Colo. Warner Bros. cited felony charges in its letter dismissing Sheen, which it sent out Monday.

The letter from Warner Bros. cited Sheen's arrest and that guilty plea to a charge of assaulting his wife, Brooke Mueller, in 2009, which was plea-bargained.

Sheen has sued because Warner Bros. said in its letter that his personal problems left him unable to do his job, Singer told the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday.

"When a production company and network are willing to hire someone who is a convicted felon and accused of putting a knife to his wife's throat, and they know that this person has substance abuse problems, it's obvious that their position in this dispute is ridiculous," THR says Singer said in the interview.

We'll pause here for a minute - you'll want to reread that comment from Sheen's attorney.


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