Tag Archives: Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen Wrongful Termination Suits No Open and Shut Matter

Charlie Sheen

Do you think that Charlie Sheen’s condition as he rants against Warner Bros. TV and producer Chuck Lorre over radio, TV and internet makes the $100 million wrongful termination lawsuits his attorneys have filed into a lost cause?  Think again.

Leading entertainment litigator Mitchell Langberg notes that there is more to Sheen’s case than is apparent at first blush.  “In my experience, the studios in these employment things are at least mostly wrong.  You have artists who are artists, and studios that are businesses.  When something happens to make it personal on the business side, then it devolves into all kinds of issues.”

Langberg’s firm, Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck, has represented stars and companies through the years, so he’s well versed in both sides of cases involving high-profile entertainment firings.  The company represented Aaron Spelling back when Farrah Fawcett quit “Charlie’s Angels” — as well as Valerie Harper, back when she was fired from her own series.

” In this case, you have a studio that knew about it,” he says, referring to Sheen’s drug-fueled carousing.  “They even renegotiated with him after it was happening.   They can point to their morals clause or their felony clause, but it would appear that as long as the ratings were high and the money was rolling in, his behavior was acceptable to them.

Mitchell Langberg

“Now, it could be that it got so out of control it got to be a danger and was starting to effect the show,” continues Langberg.  “I’ve read the 11-page termination letter, where they talk about his missing his marks and leaning against things and such.  It could be that, or it could be that it got real personal.  The timing of when he was first suspended from the show was two days after Charlie made his first public comments against Chuck Lorre,” notes the attorney, referring to the “Two and a Half Men” creator/producer that Sheen termed “a clown” and “Chaim Levine.”

Langberg points out that reports of Sheen’s wild behavior are nothing new.  He’s “been on Howard Stern’s show and other shows making comments about prostitutes and drugs before now.  Did they weigh their morals clauses then?  What changed?  That is what the case is going to turn on  — whether or not they can prove that something different was effecting his peformance, or the safety of his performance happening.”

What happens if Charlie gets 5150’ed?  “If the family gets him committed, even temporarily, it will confirm what seems readily apparant to anybody who watches the internet or television.  And maybe it will make it more pursuasive for the studio,” Langberg observes.

“I remember sometime in the late ’90s, when Charlie first publicly had these  problems.  Martin made it ovious he would do whatever it took to save his son,” adds Langberg, referring to comments the elder Sheen made to  reporters as Charlie recovered from a 1998 drug overdose — “whatever he’s able to do.”

Charlie Sheen Has Goddesses, but Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez Have Angels

Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen

It would be an irony among ironies if Charlie Sheen’s manic media blitz wound up helping “The Way” — the film about a father retracing his dead son’s pilgrimage along Spain’s Camino de Santiago that stars his father, Martin Sheen, and was directed by his brother, Emilio Estevez.

This is the film that Estevez and the senior Sheen have been trying to promote in-between coping with questions about Charlie and his behavior.  And talk about juxtaposing the profane and the sacred — while Charlie’s been extolling the virtues of his porn star  “goddesses” all over TV, Emilio and Martin have been talking to college groups and religious press about encountering “small miracles on a daily basis” in making their labor of love film.  That’s how Martin put it when he spoke to the Independent Catholic News:

 “’People would walk in front of the screen, and spoil the scene and then we realised it was something beautiful. We were just led along the way to surrender to everything that occurred….. Swept along – it was as if a band of angels was dragging us along this journey.’”

Emilio calls the film “pro people, pro life not anti-anything.”

 Their Malta premiere was a fundraiser for Pope John XXIII Peace Lab. 

 Small wonder Catholic and Protestant groups are already poised to embrace the movie, though critics praise it for being not overtly religious.  Martin has made it clear that they wanted to honor the pilgrimage journey taken by people who may be curious, may be spirtual seekers, may be bereaved, may be confronted with major life decisions.   “It’s not something Americans do.  Few Americans  would meditate for six weeks on a long walk,” he said in Dublin.  “But frankly they should try it.”

 The film opens in the U.K. in time for Easter next month.  Estevez has said that in advance of the movie’s Sept. 30 U.S. opening, he and his fahter plan to take a 30-day, 30-city cross-country promotion bus trip from Los Angeles to New York.  Here’s hoping that Charlie is on a much better path well before that.

 GOING BAD:  Gilles Marini would like tp go from being a lover to, well, maybe even a fighter during his “Brothers & Sisters” hiatus.  “My dream would be to get an independent feature with a lot of texture, or a part in a blockbuster where people would say, ‘I know this guy from somewhere, but where?’  So different that they don’t recognize me.” 

The actor currently making hearts flutter as sexy, romantic Luc Laurent says playing a villain would definitely be a worthy idea.  “Why not?  I’m open to so many different things.  Someone who is a bad boy, or, to be bold, someone who is an atrocious monster.  If I break the image, it will make me more real as an actor.”  

 CASTING CORNER:  Bring your own, um, whatever.  How about this for a casting notice?  For a fetish party sequence in an upcoming “CSI” episodes, casting forces wanted 38-to-45-year-olds, “hot men and women….should have own fetish gear…Please specify in notes what kind of gear you have.”  They really have a taste for fetish stories on that show, have you noticed?

 NBC certainly has a taste for fantasy this pilot season.  Not only is there the police show set in a magical land that we mentioned the other day — “17th Precinct,” that takes place in a place called Excelsior, where everyone uses magic except for a threatening group called The Stoics, who aim to destroy magic with science.  There is also “Grimm,” about a young police officer (here in contemporary America) who thinks he is losing his mind because he keeps having visions of people turning into monsters.  But it turns out, he’s a special being with a special ability to see such goings-on.  Actually, that’s not so special.  We see people turning into monsters in Hollywood all the time.

 Meanwhile, over at ABC, casting is underway for “Grace,” a family drama-with-comedy set in the world of professional dance.  Producers have the innovative idea of using dance as subtext and background throughout the episodes, as “family patriarch Michael Grace communicates through dance.”  Worth a look, certainly.

Chuck Lorre’s Had More Than His Share of Toxic Talents

Charlie Sheen

Why, Chuck Lorre, why? With Charlie Sheen’s series-ending public rant last week, Lorre has to have attained some sort of new Guinness world record for dealing with out-of-control, out-of-their-minds, self-destructive TV stars.

In case you missed it, Sheen referred to the “Two and a Half Men” creator as a “clown” whose “tin can” writing Sheen claimed to have been “effortlessly and magically converting…into pure gold” for nearly a decade.
Lorre’s used to unappreciative stars, to say the least. Consider: the esteemed writer/producer first whetted his sitcom chops working on “Roseanne” back in the early ’90s. Behind-the-scenes fights on that show became an everyday part of the job, as the star wrested more and more control out of creator Matt Williams’ hands and launched a frenzy of frequent firings. Before it was all over, tales of screaming tyrannical behavior emanated from the set regularly and Roseanne let it be known that she suffered from multiple personality disorder.


But that show was likely a better experience for Lorre than the first show he personally created – the 1993-1998 “Grace Under Fire,” starring Brett Butler. The comedian, once thought to be the female answer to Lenny Bruce, exhibited demonical diva ways including verbal abuse and sexual harassment, according to Lorre’s suit over profits from the sitcom. Her nastiness led staff, including writer Alan Ball, to talk about the show using terms such as “the gulag.” Lorre left.

Brett Butler

Butler confessed to painkiller addiction and the production became subject to her rehabs and relapses — but due to high ratings, the team carried on (sound familiar?) until at last ABC got fed up with Butler missing tapings and abruptly pulled the plug.

Then there was Cybill Shepherd, a decided improvement. Nevertheless, she was accused of megalomania during production of her “Cybill” show of 1995-1998. Whoever did what to whom, clearly, it wasn’t fun. Lorre was fired after five episodes despite creating the show. (A phalanx of other writers quit or were fired as well.)

First, though, Cybill had Lorre banned from the set, reportedly because she hated it when he and another producer, Jay Daniel, sat watching her performances on the monitor and critiquing them. Imagine producers doing such a thing!

Small wonder that in 2008, Lorre relished the assignment of cowriting a “CSI” episode entitled “Death of a Sitcom Diva.” As “CSI’s” Robert David Hall put it, “I think Chuck is working off his aggression in this script.”

By then, “Two and a Half Men” was already a long-standing hit, and it looked like taking a gamble on seemingly-reformed hellion Charlie Sheen was a good idea. Considering the show’s long running success, it still looks that way. But as every reader of pop psych tomes and women’s magazines knows, if you keep getting into the same kind of toxic relationships over and over again, you have to recognize that it’s your responsibility and make changes. Lorre’s apparently-harmonious “Big Bang Theory” and gratitude-infused “Mike and Molly” casts suggest he’s found the healthy truth: there are talented, funny, creative people out there who manage to do terrific work without all the pain and suffering.

Goodbye, Charlie Sheen. Ahh.



Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, and a big serving of gratitude to the readers who contributed their votes — and wit — to this annual celebrity turkey shoot. Our cornucopia overflows with tackiness, so let’s get to it:

1. Snooki. Just in time for her 23rd birthday this week (Nov. 23), the petite “Jersey Shore” vixen becomes the top vote getter in the 33rd Annual Beck/Smith Hollywood Tacky Taste Awards. Yes, Snooki, nee Nicole Polizzi, won the hearts — or at least, the attention — of Tacky voters across the land.

“Cute little figure and dumb as a box of rocks. Snooki is my Tacky Princess for 2010,” writes R.M. of Anaheim, CA. “Snooki and ‘Tacky’ go together like Cheetohs and orange fingers. Ya gotta love her,” says Jamie L. of Canton, OH. Referring to her arrest this past summer for loudly stumbling around drunk on a beach, Teri99 points out: “When a judge calls you a ‘Lindsay Lohan wannabe’ it just doesn’t get tackier than that.” Carlos G. of New York brought up Snooki’s surprising “Happy Birthday” Twitter exchange with John McCain: “Look out. This is how it all began with Sarah Palin.”

2. Lady Gaga. “Lady Ga-ga’s dress con carne pushed her into the gag-o-sphere of tackiness” as reader Bernice R. of Naples, FL cleverly puts it. She adds, “I propose a last name for her: ‘Maggot.’ Then, she could be called, ‘Lady Gag-a-Maggot.’ Grace H. of Burbank, CA, concurs: “She seems to be the figment of a deranged mind. She really went too far when she was dressed in slabs of meat. Now that Mr. Blackwell is gone women will do anything.”

Kate Gosselin

3. Kate Gosselin. “She claims to ‘do it all for the kids’ but goes around dressed like a $2 whore and never misses an opportunity to denigrate and bash her ex-husband,” says reader Dee W.. Tell us how you really feel, Dee! She continues that Gosselin “treats other people as if they are less than human, including her own children. This not only is bad for the children, it’s now showing up in the kids’ behavior as well, with 2 of them being expelled from kindergarten (!!) for bullying and mistreating their fellow students.”

4. ‘DWTS’/Bristol Palin. “The politicizing of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ their fawning over Sarah Palin, and all the Tea Partiers voting to keep the clearly

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas ABC photo

inferior Bristol in the competition all these weeks, has ruined the show for me. I won’t be watching any more,” proclaims Joanne R. of West Haven, CT. Others, like brucekn write, “It’s ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ Since when is Bristol Palin a star?”

5. Mel Gibson/Oksana Grigorieva. “I certainly don’t condone Gibson’s terrible behavior, what with the racist rants, the verbal abuse and threats he’s heaped on Oksana, and the fact he left his wife for this nasty woman. However, I feel sorry for him because he is obviously mentally ill and she took advantage of

Mel Gibson

that to trap and extort him. The whole situation is beyond tacky,” writes TrulyJenC. Her sentiments are echoed by Rory from Atlanta: “All she cares about is $$. These tapes exploit his bipolar disease. Stop posting them!” But others are less sympathetic to the rage-spewing star. Tim G. of Northridge, CA, blasts, “Set up or not, Gibson is an abuser, pure and simple. His claim of being ‘broke’ is funny. I thought he had a $900 million fortune not so long ago. So, now he’s down to $300 million and feeling the pinch? I should be so broke.”

6. David Arquette, for “going on Howard Stern’s show after the announcement of his marital split from Courteney Cox and airing all their dirty laundry? Announcing his having sex with another woman? Ugh. I wonder how Courteney stayed with this idiot for so long,” wrote Rochelle T. of St. Louis.

7. Charlie Sheen. “I don’t know which is worse: Sheen or his Hollywood enablers. He tears up a NYC hotel room and clocks a hooker and they say it’s an allergic reaction?! As long as the checks are good, right folks?” — Rich M., Newark, NJ

8. The Kardashians. The celebutante/socialite sisters Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe seen on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” drew tacky votes for various reasons. “Kim flaunting her sexual relationship with Miles Austin in front of ex Reggie Bush shows again she’s a total skank” — Tenney, Brooklyn, NY. “Khloe’s ongoing comments about finding it hard to conceive with Lamar Odom are tacky T.M.I.” — Brenda K., San Diego, CA. “I still don’t get what these three sleazy man-eating @#!$es are famous for.” — Pat O., El Paso, TX

9. Joaquin Phoenix. Clearly, Casey Affleck’s “I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix” hoax was a dud. Bernice R. skewers Joaquin thusly: “Wacky jokester but otherwise talented, Joaquin Phoenix’s nauseating hair and beard garnered him literally tens of fans worldwide this year, bringing the total attendance to his last movie to 72 virgins, but only if you count the enamored camels.” Ouch.

10. Laura Schlessinger. A past Tacky Taste winner returns, with complaints over her tackiness summed up by G.H.: “Laura Schlessinger used the ‘N’ word repeatedly as she was talking to a caller who was black.”

Dishonorable Mentions. They’re not celebrities, but many would agree with Michael B. of Rockford, Il, when he says “The brain trust at the Transportation Security Agency who came up with the virtual strip search and sexually invasive pat downs to which travelers are suddenly being subjected are tackiest of all this year.” Then there’s “Stephen Colbert’s appearance before the Senate hearings on migrant workers. [It] will stand forever in the annals of tackiness, otherwise known as the Congressional Record. Single-handedly, Colbert elevated a government committee up to the level of cheap entertainment. Kudos also go to Jon Stewart for calling the President of the United States, ‘Dude,’ to his face.” — B.R., FL

And that’s it for this year. Here’s hoping all your turkeys offer the very best of taste.

Sheen, Gibson, Mayer Among ‘Toxic Men’ Archetypes, Says Author

Charlie Sheen

Communications expert, professor and author Dr. Lillian Glass reports she’s simply staggered to find the archetypes in her new “Toxic Men” book making news these days all over the celebrity sphere.  And once she starts naming names, she makes a very good case for just that.

“It’s been amazing, what is happening in the headlines.  For instance, Charlie Sheen — a celebrity face and name — is absolutely a toxic type.  He’s in the category of  the gloom and doom self-destructive victim.  He’s had it all, had everything handed to him over and over, yet he has these self-destructive issues including being with the women he should not be with again and again, and being very hostile with them,” says Glass, who’ll be seen with Joy Behar and Dr. Phil this week tubthumping on behalf of the tome.

Mel Gibson

Next, there’s “Mel Gibson, the control freak type, the ultimate bully, so full of rage and hate, and even a little bit of the sadist, we see going on…”

And, “John Mayer, the emotional refrigerator.  We see him go through these major relationships and, as a body language expert, I see that his body language is the same over and over again.  Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Simpson — he walks ahead of these women.  You see no affection.”

Glass, whose book not only includes clues to look for in order to avoid toxic types (women too), but guidelines for dealing with them when one must, on the job or socially, points to Jesse James as another archtype.  “The silent but deadly erupting volcano.  He’s so quiet and sweet,

Jesse James

but then there’s all this cheating with several women, and the photo with him wearing a Nazi hat — this obnoxious passive-aggressive attitude about his alleged racism.”

She views Michael Lohan as the toxic type she deems “the sneaky two-faced meddling backstabber” and who could disagree?

John Edwards she titles The Wishy Washy Spineless Wimp.  We get that.

Kanye West, meanwhile, is “a narcissist.  It’s all about him.  For anybody to go onstage and take an award out of another person’s hands saying they don’t deserve it — that’s the ultimate act of narcissism.  He’s the Me Myself and I type of toxic man.”

The Jealous Competitor type is represented by Chris Brown, in her view.  “When a man hits a woman, it’s about envy and jealousy — competitiveness.  This is where you find cases of abuse — this type and the controllers.”

At the very worst end of the scale are emotionless psycho sociopaths capable of acting very charming.  “They’re blamers, nothing is their fault. And they’re liars.”  She places fraud perpetrator Bernie Madoff and murder suspect Joran Van Der Sloot in that category.

Last but not least, there’s the “manipulative cheating liar, which is Tiger Woods,” says Glass.  “We saw him.   He gave that mea culpa speech, but it was all for his golf game.”

Glass’s book, of course, has much more information and nuance.  “Of the 15 books I’ve written, this is the one I’m most excited about,” she says, “the one I believe can most positively change lives,”  Or at least, be entertaining as all get-out.