Chuck Lorre Offered to Quit ‘Two and a Half Men’ for Charlie Sheen

Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen in happier times.

Charlie Sheen's bizarre departure from "Two and a Half Men" may feel like like so long ago, but show creator Chuck Lorre is still living the nightmare.

"It was a painful year," he said in a new interview with TV Guide. "I'll be sorting it out for a long time."

"I offered to quit the show last winter," Lorre revealed. "I said, 'Listen, if for some reason I'm now the Antichrist I'm happy to leave. It's not in my interest to stop the show, and I certainly don't want to put all these people out of work. Keep going. Get another guy. Don't stop on my account.'"

It wasn't the first time he thought about quitting TV's No. 1 comedy. Lorre said he regrets not leaving after Sheen was accused of holding a knife to his then-wife, Brooke Mueller, on Christmas 2009. "When he started attacking people with knives, that's it," Lorre said. "That should have been it. I should have walked. That's unthinkable. No more. I'm done. But for some reason I thought that because she was willing to forgive him … we could emerge from this fiasco and be stronger and healthier."

Clearly not. Lorre said he, Warner Bros. and CBS made "a moral decision as opposed to a financial one" to get Sheen off the show.

"But people were really frightened that they were signing off on what could have had devastating consequences," he said. "This was not a game. This was drug addiction writ large. This was big-time cocaine and in his own words, an 'epic drug run' that could have ended with either his death or someone else's."

Though his rep, Sheen said he was "unavailable for comment."

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