Charlie Sheen is no stranger to the media. In the past 12 months he has become the highest paid actor on TV in his series “Two and a Half Men“, he had a run-in with his ex-wife and a hooker in a New York City hotel room, entered rehab, separated from his third wife Brooke Mueller after attacking her with a knife in Aspen, and today he entered rehab. The latest event came after Charlie had a few weekends in Vegas involving Bombshell McGee, more hookers, liquor, and cocaine that resulted in Charlie being late to set. After that particular Vegas weekend Charlie fell ill and had to miss filming his show for a days due to an acute ear ache.
This past weekend Charlie had quite the party. Over 36-hours he partied with several different hookers and porn stars, reportedly had a briefcase of cocaine delivered to his house, and was critiquing porn videos. This display of awesome adult behavior, did I mention Mr. Sheen is 45 and has two children, resulted in Charlie finally having a hernia and finally checking into rehab while his show goes on hiatus.
Now, you may ask yourself – how many criminal cases does Mr. Sheen have pending against him. The answer is shocking – ZERO! Brooke Mueller refused to press charges after the incident in Aspen, and he got off with a probation violation and time served. The incident in New York City was not pursued by police because there was not enough evidence and the porn star, Capri Anderson, may have actually stolen a Patek Philippe watch from Charlie.
Well then, the studio behind “Two and a Half Men” must be livid right? I mean, CBS’s insurance liability for Charlie must be through the roof? The show must be about to be canned? Nope. Wrong again. CBS and Warner Brothers Television are standing behind Charlie.
Somehow, Charlie has been able to get doctor’s notes and medical excuses to relieve him and the production of any liability. For now, everything is merely rumor and conjecture. Charlie is still showing up to set with his lines memorized and playing his part. Most importantly, the advertisers are not pulling out of the show and the show’s rating are still soaring. ”Two and a Half Men”‘s ratings are actually up 2% from the previous year. All publicity is good publicity, as the old adage goes. The show is the most lucrative advertising vehicle on CBS as well, an average spot costs over $200,000 for 30-seconds.
Charlie’s problems seem reminiscent of those of Keifer Sutherland from “24″ fame. Keifer famously had to go to jail for over a month from a series of DUIs. As the star of “24″, his antics seriously jeopardized the show’s filming schedule. The show went off the air the following season.
Now, this is a legal blog and Charlie Sheen doesn’t seem to have any legal troubles, so why am I writing about him? Most likely his contract with CBS for the show has a morals clause. That means that Sheen is probably in violation of a term of his contract. If he is in breach of his contract for the show, they could cancel it at any time and, if the contract was drafted correctly, probably will not have to pay Charlie any sort of large severance check. If any of these rumors are proven, if he is ever charged for his drug use or for engaging in prostitution, or violent rages, his contract could be revoked or he may become uninsurable. Insurance is key for any production in Hollywood. The production cannot continue if Charlie is not insured without a TON of waivers. It would cost Sheen a lot of his own money as well.
At least one of three things will have to happen to get Charlie on track it appears: 1. He gets arrested and goes to jail for a significant amount of time; 2. He ends up seriously ill and/or overdoses; or 3. Advertisers pull out of “Two and a Half Men” and CBS cancels the show. Somehow, I don’t think number 3 will actually affect Charlie. Between residuals and his salary – he won’t ever have to work again. It appears that Mr. Sheen is officially untouchable. For the sake of the grips and gaffers on the show, I hope he gets it together soon.