Since Charlie Sheen revealed he was HIV positive last year, the actor has put himself forward as an advocate for those living with the virus, debunked the treatment he received at the hands of an alleged quack doctor, and faced claims — including at least one lawsuit — that he didn’t inform his sex partners of his status. Still, he remained unbowed.
“I said to my mom, ‘This disease picked the wrong guy,’” he said last year. “If anybody can fight this thing and discover a cure, it’s me.”
Now, Sheen’s alleged treatment of one such partner appears to have put him on the radar screen of the Los Angeles Police Department, which confirmed that the 50-year-old former “Two and a Half Men” star is being investigated by “detectives from an elite stalking unit,” as the Associated Press put it.
What was Sheen’s alleged crime? The department would not say, but told the AP Sheen was considered a suspect in a criminal investigation report received on March 31. Unnamed police sources told the Los Angeles Times, however, that the investigation involves Sheen’s former fiancée, Scottine Ross, who said the actor threatened her. There was no immediate comment from either Sheen’s attorney or Sheen’s publicist, the AP reported — as did USA Today.
The details of the March 31 report were not yet available. But Ross, once an adult film star known as Brett Rossi, has claimed Sheen abused her in the past. In a lawsuit filed the month after Sheen went public with his diagnosis on the “Today” show, Ross said Sheen, whom she dated from 2013 to 2014, exposed her to HIV; hit her, kicked her and held an unloaded gun to her head; forced her to get an abortion; and reneged on a deal to pay her $1 million to keep quiet about his HIV status.
“Mr. Sheen made it clear on The Today Show that he had no intention of honoring the agreement reached, and sure enough, he didn’t,” David Ring, Ross’s attorney, said in December. “Ms. Ross looks forward to her day in court, and to taking Mr. Sheen’s deposition.”
— Brett Rossi (@ImBrettRossi) April 5, 2016
On the “Today” show, Sheen said he was going public about his HIV status in part to stop extortion attempts. He also told Matt Lauer he “led” with “condoms and honesty” with sexual partners, and that it “couldn’t be farther from the truth” that he infected anyone with HIV.
“Charlie Sheen intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit filed by Brett Rossi a/k/a Scottine Ross,” Martin Singer — the actor’s attorney who has also represented Bill Cosby — said after Ross’s lawsuit was filed. “We are confident that Mr. Sheen will prevail in this action and also will recover significant damages against her in connection with a pending arbitration that was commenced months ago.”
Though this was already a tangled tale, details reported in tabloids were a lot grittier. The National Enquirer and Radar Online reported Sheen was caught on tape sounding like he was threatening Ross’s life.
“This piece of s—t needs to be f—king buried,” Sheen allegedly said of Ross. “… Family of gangsters. You get it,” He added: “I can’t be f—king extorted … It’s called treason. You know what treason is? It’s punishable by death.” And: “I’d rather spend 20 grand to have her head kicked in.”
As the AP noted, officers served Radar Online with a subpoena for the audio — and that document had some more details.
“The victim is Scottie Ross, aka Brett Rossi,” it said, according to Radar Online.
There was more. A lot more.
“Ross stated that during the time she resided with Sheen she endured domestic violence, physical assaults and death threats,” the document said. “Ross reported that on several occasions Sheen had brandished firearms at her and threatened her life. Ross stated that she did not report the violence and abuse at the time the incidents occurred, as she feared for her safety and was under Sheen’s control.” And: “Ross stated that she witnessed Sheen threatened to kill his former wife Denise Richards and their children’s lives.”
Ross’s attorney told USA Today she didn’t make the tape, but learned about it from … Radar Online.
“[She] takes it extremely seriously because she knows him and knows his personality and behavior,” Ring said. “It’s not just his typical bluster. I heard [the tape] and it’s legitimate. I know the context, and there are things he said on the tape that only he would know because we were in settlement talks at the time [over the lawsuit].”
Radar Online didn’t appear inclined to comply with the subpoena. It was, after all, a news organization.
“We believe the search warrant is illegal and violates federal and state law prohibiting the use of search warrants against media companies who are reporting news and information,” Dylan Howard, editor in chief of The National Enquirer and editorial director of RadarOnline.com, wrote in a statement.