What Will it Take for Court of Public Opinion to Rule Against Charlie Sheen?

Charlie Sheen

Will Charlie Sheen wind up being sued for breach of contract if he’s broken a morals clause in his “Two and a Half Men” series agreement? Will Charlie Sheen have the book thrown at him in Colorado, where he faces charges stemming from a Christmas Day arrest for assault in Aspen involving his wife, Brooke Mueller? Will Charlie Sheen’s career be irrevocably damaged? The questions swirl in the wake of Sheen’s series production being put on hold last week, as he and Mueller go through their respective rehabs.

Here’s another question: What will it take for the court of public opinion to rule against Sheen, whose record of behavior is so horrendous that for many, the ONLY way he’d be welcomed into their living rooms is on TV?

Seriously, his ex-wife accused him just four years ago of pushing her down and threatening her, being addicted to gambling, seeking out prostitutes and frequently visiting child porn sites. Would you want this man hanging around your daughter?

And, it’s not just Denise Richards who told the world she was in fear of Sheen. You’ll recall that before he cleaned up his act and won public approbation and a career comeback in 2000 on “Spin City,” there was a nauseating parade of reports of his drugging and drinking and ugly episodes with women. There were photos published in 1997 of brutalized ex-girlfriend Brittany Ashland, who accused Sheen of smashing her face into a marble floor.

There was the pretzel logic explanation of how ex-fiancee Kelly Preston got shot in their bathroom in 1990 — when a gun fell out of the pocket of his pants that had been left on the floor, and it discharged a bullet that hit the toilet, then ricocheted into her arm. (As a head-scratcher, it’s up there with his current rehab being a “preventative measure.”) And, of course, there was Sheen’s role in the 1995 trial of Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, where it was revealed that he’d spent $50,000-plus on hookers in less than two years.

Folks, forgiveness is a wonderful thing, but there’s something wrong with the fact that, reportedly earning more than $900,000 per episode, this is the highest-paid actor on TV.

SHE DID IT HER WAY: Sherry Stringfield was once dubbed “The Goodbye Girl” after walking away from the very successful TV shoSheery w, “E.R.,” Shright before it went into syndication, which would have made her a fortune. We caught up with the actress and asked if that stigma is still affecting her career today.

“I don’t think so. When I first left ‘E.R.,’ I was told by numerous people, ‘You’ll never work again.’ People say stuff, sure, but I don’t worry about what people think. I get on with what I need to do,” says the actress, who is busy auditioning during pilot season and is starring alongside Eric McCormack in the upcoming Lifetime movie “Who Is Clark Rockefeller,” premiering March 13.

The movie is based on a true story about a man in Boston who claimed to be the heir to the famous Rockefeller dynasty for over a decade and even fooled millionaire Sandra Boss, who became his wife. “She was a Stanford and Harvard graduate. This was a bright woman. You’re like, ‘What happened?’ I just found it very intriguing,” explains Stringfield, who played Boss.

“However, when you had a nice, decent childhood and went to good schools, you live in your world and assume the rest of the world is like that. I know I like to think people are just and honest, but it’s not always the case. Who would think someone’s lying to you about who they are? If someone told me they were a Kennedy, I’d be like, ‘Cool. Good for you.’ I wouldn’t think they were lying.”

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: Nick Lachey branched out in the last year to create the MTV show “Taking the Stage,” and he tells us he and his brother Drew have a lot more ideas in store.

“We have a production company together, so we’re getting some ideas up and running. We’ve got some TV ideas in the works. It’s a busy time, but all good stuff,” says Lachey.

As far as his work in front of the cameras, “I always keep it open to do more acting. It’s pilot season, so I’m sure I’ll be out there doing some auditioning, but I’d actually like to branch out into more of the hosting stuff.”

When asked what his ideal hosting job would be, Lachey responds, “Sports have always been a huge passion of mine. I’d love to do a sports talk radio show or get involved in some capacity in the sports world. I think there may be some unfinished business there that I’ll want to explore.”

FUNNY THINGS: As Haley, the not-tremendously-bright teenage daughter on “Modern Family,” Sarah Hyland has drawn laughs. It was amusing watching her being convinced by her smarty pants younger sister (Ariel Winter) that she could recharge batteries by rubbing them on her forehead, for instance.

But, the 19-year-old beauty admits, “I think my biggest challenge on the show is just trying to keep up with all the adults. They’re all like standup comics in real life. I feel like the dullest person on the set. I have a dry humor, but I’m not very quick on my feet,” she says. However, “I’m watching them and learning. You know how they say ‘Practice makes perfect’? It all soaks into your being.”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster