"Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre's attorney Howard Weitzman responded today in a statement to a lawsuit filed by Charlie Sheen against Lorre and Warner Bros.
"The allegations in the complaint against Mr. Lorre are as recklessly false and unwarranted as Mr. Sheen's rantings in the media. These accusations are simply imaginary. This lawsuit is about a fantasy 'lottery' pay-day for Charlie Sheen. Chuck Lorre's concern has been and continues to be about Mr. Sheen's health," read the statement.
Sheen is suing on behalf of the crew and demanding to be paid for the eight scrapped "Two and a Half Men" episodes, totaling more than $100 million.
Warner Bros. declined to comment.
"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," Marty Singer, Sheen's attorney, wrote in the lawsuit's preamble. Lorre is the main subject for derision in the court filing.
The suit also alleges that Warner Bros. violated Sheen's Fair Employment and Housing Act rights against harassment and discrimination in employment because of his alleged medical condition.
"WB has accused Mr. Sheen of having physical and mental disabilities," the filing says. "According to WB, health care experts have observed Mr. Sheen in an alleged 'manic' and/or 'bipolar' state; other health-care experts have described Mr. Sheen as suffering from 'hypomanic' psychological state. WB further claims Mr. Sheen has had a rapid physical and mental deterioration of this condition. WB bluntly states that Mr. Sheen is very ill," according to the court document.
Did Sheen Want Help?
The filing notes that "on or about March 7, 2011, WB refused to reasonably accommodate Mr. Sheen from Warner Bros. claim that Mr. Sheen has an alleged illness and need for medical care and/or treatment when it terminated his employment contract. Rather than accommodate Mr. Sheen for Warner Bros. claim that Mr. Sheen has alleged physical and mental disabilities, WB instead terminated Mr. Sheen's employment agreement."
The allegation by Sheen is that his termination is a violation of FEHA Against Defendant (Fair Employment and Housing Act).
Vanity CardsThe filing states that Lorre "repeatedly made offensive, derogatory and damaging comments about Mr. Sheen and his alleged physical and mental illness, and harrassed Mr. Sheen on the set of the Series."
Sheen's attorney's cite various examples of "harassing statements" Mr. Lorre made in his "vanity cards" that appear at the end of Mr. Lorre's shows that target "Mr. Sheen's alleged illness." Sheen's lawyers say the five listed in the court filing contain obvious references to Mr. Sheen. Here is one example:
Without his nearly $2-million-per-episode salary from "Two and a Half Men," Charlie Sheen has been forced to find new ways to score some cash. But replacing that salary hasn't been easy.
While reality TV might seem like a good fit, but reality TV producer Michael Hirschorn has his doubts.
"I think he probably is too crazy even for reality TV. They'd want to know he is going to show up and I think the network would have a real question about that," said Hirschorn.
Sheen has always seen himself as a film actor first. He used his track record to jab his former co-star Jon Cryer, telling E News on Tuesday, "When I'm starring in multi-million dollar films and he's begging me for a supporting role, I'll say, 'You left me out in the cold.'"
Yet it doesn't seem like any multi-million dollar films are on the horizon.
"Charlie Sheen has made a lot of statements about movies he may or may not be doing. Right now there is nothing solid," said Matthew Belloni of the Hollywood Reporter.
Sheen is also reportedly looking into getting involved in selling merchandise.
"Charlie has been talking to Live Nation about putting together some sort of merchandising deal to get some of his new catch phrases - like Vatican assassin warlock - onto T-shirts, etc." said Belloni.
Sheen is also looking to Twitter for income.
Once TV's highest paid sitcom star, Sheen has reportedly inked a deal with Ad.ly to endorse products on Twitter.
Sheen told TMZ his primary motivation for joining Twitter last week was that it's a "cash cow." And, as he pointed out to TMZ, "I'm unemployed."
The unemployed actor was off to a strong start. In just over a day, he attracted 1.1 million followers, setting a new Guinness world record.
Ad.ly's CEO told The Hollywood Reporter that Sheen could make $1 million a year as a celebrity tweeter. That's chump change compared to what the actor was making before CBS postponed his show, a reported $2 million per episode.
Sheen also announced via Twitter that he is launching a live tour starting on April 2 in Detroit, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Another business opportunity for Sheen has been proffered by Mark Cuban's HDNet cablet network. Cuban described Sheen as "somebody that everybody has a whole lot of interest in who is doing some interesting things, to say the least" according to AP.
CLICK HERE to See Charlie Sheen's Celebrity 'Cabinet'
With four young children to support, the actor needs money, especially since his spending habits haven't changed. Sheen is reportedly purchasing a new $7.5 million home in Beverly Hills, Calif. According to GQ magazine, Sheen spent more than $1 million on new cars during his first week in rehab last month, adding to an already large collection.
His other purchases, according to GQ, include renting out the Astrodome so "a few friends" could take "batting practice," and paying porn star Kacey Jordan $30,000 for a party he held at his home in January.
Sheen's friend Eric Braun told the magazine that Sheen has so much money he can't "piss it away." "Most people run out of money, they burn out and then they finally hit rock bottom," Braun said, but those close to Sheen worry that "Charlie is not going to hit rock bottom financially." Braun believes "there are just three options" left for his friend: "rehab, jail or death."
Sheen's No. 1 concern, though, is getting back to work. With the future of his No. 1 sitcom in jeopardy, Sheen has said he would demand $3 million an episode from his CBS bosses if they wanted him back. He later told CNN's Piers Morgan he was just joking.
He's serious about being paid for the remainder of this season, however. According to Radar Online, Sheen's attorney, Singer, sent a threatening letter to CBS and to Warner Bros., the show's producer, demanding that Sheen be paid for the remaining eight episodes of the season or there would be legal action.
Is Sheen just crying poor, or does he really need the money? Living in the fast lane doesn't come cheap. Below, an accounting of some of Sheen's biggest debts and assets:
Sheen is still driving in style.
He arrived at the Piers Morgan interview in a $500,000 Maybach. When his 2009 Mercedes-Benz ended up at the bottom of a cliff off Mulholland Drive last February, he went out and got a 2010 Mercedes-Benz. That one was found at the foot of a cliff five months later. (Maybe that's when he got the Maybach or stopped leaving the keys in his cars when they were parked in his open garage.) Plus, there's the more than $1 million he spent on cars during his lastest round of rehab, according to GQ.
Charlie Sheen's Life Without 'Two and a Half Men'
Sheen owns several. The all-night party that landed him in the hospital in January took place at his 7,924-square-foot Mulholland Drive estate, for which he paid $7.2 million in early 2006.
After he divorced his third wife, Brooke Mueller, she moved into the four-bedroom 4,179-square-foot house in Los Feliz that Sheen purchased for $2.5 million in 2007.
Sheen owns two smaller homes in Malibu and a condo in Marina Del Rey. He gave a condo he once owned in Malibu to his sister Renee Estevez, an actress. He also gave his 20-something daughter Cassandra Estevez a 3,231-square-foot house in Ventura County that he once owned.
Ex-Wives and Children
Sheen has three ex-wives and five children, including his grown daughter Cassandra.
He's paying his most recent ex, Mueller, $55,000 a month in child support for their 2-year-old twin boys, Max and Bob. Mueller also received a parting gift of $757,689.70 and primary physical custody of the kids.
After the boys were removed from his home last week, Mueller reportedly sought sole custody. On Twitter, Sheen said: "not sure what all the legal noise is about ... just verbally reached a deal with B. no court mon. yay."
Sheen paid his second wife, Denise Richards, $40 million for less than three years of marriage, according to "Extra." That includes a $7-million divorce settlement; $20 million in syndication royalties from Sheen's sitcom; and nearly $10 million in child support for his daughters, Sam and Lola, until the girls turn 18.