Charlie Sheen's Longtime Publicist Stan Rosenfield Resigns

Stan Rosenfield says he can no longer work "effectively" with Sheen.

January 28, 2011, 11:06 AM

Feb. 28, 2011— -- Charlie Sheen's recent rants have gotten him suspended from his job and, now his loyal publicist, who stood by him through scandal after scandal, said he has decided to cut ties with the "Two and a Half Men" star.

Stan Rosenfield sent the following statement to today: "I have worked with Charlie Sheen for a long time and I care about him very much. However, at this time, I'm unable to work effectively as his publicist and have respectfully resigned."

The resignation comes just days after Sheen sang Rosenfield's praises to ABC News correspondent Andrea Canning.

"Stan's great," Sheen said. "He's not a publicist. He's a press agent. A little more vintage, you know? And Stan's beautiful. He's a beautiful man. And I just want to just hug him and just rub his head."

When Canning asked Sheen if he's a tough client, the actor responded: "I'm an exciting client."

Over the last year, Rosenfield has seen more than his share of excitement, as the troubled actor has been in and out of jail, rehab, the hospital and the tabloids.

When Sheen was sent to the hospital in January after a night of heavy partying, Rosenfield told ABC News that the actor "was having severe abdominal pains," despite reports that Sheen had been drinking, taking drugs and partying with porn stars in his Beverly Hills home.

"I don't think anybody believes that's the whole problem, clearly," Howard Bragman, another longtime Hollywood publicist, told "Good Morning America" at the time.

But Bragman and other veteran publicists acknowledged that Rosenfield was in a tough spot.

Even Sheen admitted Rosenfield had a tough job.

Charlie Sheen's Publicist Quits

"He can't always get a hold of me to come up with something," Sheen told Canning. "So, he's just ... firing from the hip. And doing the best he can."

After last October's incident, in which police say Sheen went on an alcohol-fueled rampage at New York's Plaza Hotel with adult film star Capri Anderson, Rosenfield told ABC News, "What we are able to determine is that Charlie had an adverse allergic reaction to some medication and was taken to the hospital."

When Canning asked Sheen if Rosenfield was making up excuses, the actor at first replied, "No, he's not making stuff up. He's just trying to cover things and -- and-- you know, I mean, you can't like go through all that and like allergic reaction."

Sheen laughed as if in disbelief. "Really? Boink. So, I don't know. He's doing the best he can."

Rosenfield's explanation last October quickly became fodder for late-night comedians.

"Is Jack Daniel's technically a medication?" Jimmy Kimmel quipped.

Kimmel showed a mock video of Rosenfield spinning a wheel of "Charlie Sheen's Excuses." The wheel comes to a stop on "adverse reaction to medication," between "alien mind control" and "(Justin) Bieber fever."

"That's why they call it 'spin,'" Kimmel joked.

Jokes aside, the Los Angeles Times calls Rosenfield, who got his start in the mail room at The William Morris Agency, an expert at protecting his clients, including Robert De Niro, George Clooney and Danny DeVito. The paper said he'll never volunteer an admission of guilt unless absolutely necessary.

The Times pointed to an example from 2006, when DeVito showed up on the set of "The View," slurring his speech and rambling incoherently. DeVito freely admitted to the co-hosts that he'd been out partying with George Clooney the night before, saying, "I knew it was the last seven limoncellos that was going to get me."

Charlie Sheen's Publicist Quits

But when asked about his client, Rosenfield insisted that he had "no idea" whether DeVito was drunk during his "View" appearance. Instead he emphasized that the actor had never had a drinking problem.

With Sheen, Rosenfield seemed to be in difficult position, caught between protecting his client and enabling his bad behavior.

"All you can do in situations like this is help make things less bad. It is nearly impossible to manage a personality like this because their fundamental objective is to keep misbehaving and having others clean up after them," said Eric Dezenhall, a Washington, D.C.-based crisis management expert who is author of the book, "Damage Control."

"One of the reasons I don't like celebrity cases is that these folks are surrounded by people who enable them rather than tell them to shape up," Dezenhall said. "Tough love usually means you're out of a job."

That's one risk Bragman said he would be willing to take, because he knows the consequence of not doing so.

"I had a client who died of an overdose on my watch and I will never let that happen again," he said. "It's one of the saddest memories I have of my entire career."

If Sheen were his client, Bragman said, "I would draw a line in the sand and say, 'Charlie, you need help or I can't be at your side, because I can't let this happen during my watch.'"

Apparently, Rosenfield had finally reached that line.

Watch much more of the ABC News interview with Charlie Sheen Tuesday on "GMA" at 7 a.m. ET and on a special one-hour edition of "20/20" Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.

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