An open letter to Charlie Sheen:
On behalf of every comedian, talk show host, entertainment reporter, radio announcer, journalist, and blogger on the planet, we send you our unmitigated appreciation! Because of you, half our work is done before we even sit down behind our keyboards. Your thoughtfulness and precision in creating one great story after another is unparalleled! You, my friend, are comedy and gossip gold!
What can we say? Who doesn’t train their ears during a newscast when the name Charlie Sheen is mentioned? You just know it’s going to be something deliciously tawdry and lascivious.
It seemed like Robert Downey Jr. was hell-bent and unsalvageable for a while. After a number of arrests for drug and alcohol-related offenses, he finally did jail time and straightened up. Now he’s Hollywood royalty.
But wait! We thought that Downey waking up uninvited in a neighbor’s bed was as crazy as wealthy, overindulged actors could ever get. Whoooaah Nelly! Were we wrong!
In the past decade, there have been other cute little diversions, like Britney Spears flashing her privates, shaving her head, and bouncing her baby on her lap while driving. Newspaper photographers and television reporters started randomly following her around all day; they knew that some kind of inebriated act of folly was bound to occur. All they had to do was wait it out.
If the media got wind that Britney was going to have a girls’ night out with Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan, the high alert would extend to news departments from Norway to the Fiji Islands. Associated Press and Reuters would call in extra staff and helicopters.
But alas, we’ve grown tired of Britney’s bimbo behavior, Paris’ clueless delusional existence, and Lindsey’s frat-boy-in-a-bustier lifestyle. Their abhorrent behavior all too obviously resembled desperate cries for help, or at least a collective plea for someone to explain to them why you shouldn’t go commando in a miniskirt with paparazzi around.
Those three girls’ small outbursts and incidents all seem tame, now that television’s top sitcom star has raised the bar of celebrity reprobate behavior so inaccessibly high:
- In 1987, while filming Wall Street with Michael Douglas, Sheen admits that he routinely stayed up drinking, snorting blow, and popping pills until 4 a.m.; though he had to report to the set by 6 a.m.
- Charlie later entered rehab for the first time in 1988.
- Two years later, he accidentally shot fiancée Kelly Preston in the arm; Preston left him and married John Travolta.
- In 1994, after a binge that left five different hotel rooms in shambles, his family conducted an intervention. He entered rehab and stayed sober for exactly 366 days. His goal was to make one year. The very next day he was sucking down cocktails at Nicolas Cage’s house.
- In 1995, while briefly married to model Donna Peele, he testified at the trial of Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, admitting to spending nearly $50,000 on $2,500-a-night prostitutes.
- In 1996, he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman at his home; she claims he pushed her to the floor and knocked her out.
- He was charged with misdemeanor battery against ex-girlfriend Brittany Ashland, in 1997.
- Sheen tried injecting cocaine in 1998, resulting in an overdose. He was later arrested and sent to rehab, where he only stayed for one day. Shortly thereafter he was pulled over and arrested for driving his car while using medication and drinking. He had to re-enter rehab on doctor’s orders.
- Ex-wife Denise Richards filed for divorce and a restraining order in 2005.
- Christmas 2009, he’s arrested for domestic violence assault on his wife Brooke Mueller, allegedly holding a knife to her throat. He entered rehab in February, but left the facility in March. In May, a new contract was signed for a reported $1.88 million per Two and a Half Men episode. That same month, he surrendered full custody of his kids to ex-wife Denise Richards.
- Last October, Sheen vacationed at the Plaza Hotel in New York, with ex-wife Denise Richards and their two children staying across the hall. After causing a ruckus and thousands in damage to the suite, police found him “naked and intoxicated” with a porn star locked in the bathroom. His publicist said he had an allergic reaction to a prescription medication.
- November 1, 2010, he filed for divorce from his third wife, Brooke Mueller.
- January 12, 2011, staff at a $40,000-a-night hotel in Las Vegas reported that Charlie had a “revolving door” of porn stars in his room. The hot tub party lasted for days and reportedly left the room a “train wreck.”
- January 27, 2011, he was taken to hospital for abdominal pains, resulting from complications of “a hernia.” Witness accounts claim that he partied for thirty-six hours, with up to five porn stars, while critiquing porn films and snorting from a $20,000 briefcase full of coke.
- First week of February 2011, it’s announced that primetime’s most promiscuous party boy is returning to work on his sitcom in two weeks. Not only that, he also produced and starred in his own porn flick, meant to be a “pilot” for the “porn franchise” he aspires to launch called Charlie’s Devils.
Maybe he can declare the cocaine and hookers as tax deductions. Those items are probably common overhead costs for a guy going into the porn business. Is he just that shrewd?
That’s one of many burning questions surrounding Charlie Sheen’s life. Another is, why do people continue to rent this guy hotel rooms?
All I can tell you is for a guy like me, trying to scratch out a humble blog site for myself, Charlie Sheen is the brass ring of character studies. This particular article virtually wrote itself. My greatest concern was trying not to miss any indiscretions or misdemeanors, and still keep the blog post under 50,000 words.
Why do the television public, the network, and the acting community give Charlie Sheen so much latitude and forgiveness? For one, Two and a Half Men will make the network hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising and syndication. Not to mention, he’s fuelling an entire industry of gossip columnists and joke writers.
Plus, for anyone who’s ever drunk a Bloody Mary on New Year’s morning to cure a hangover and felt like a deviant for doing it, this sitcom star’s personal life helps us all feel better about our own susceptibility to temptation. How bad could our innocuous little ideas of excursions into decadence possibly be, when we know that Charlie Sheen’s probably busy right now trying to retrieve a cocaine rock out of a hooker’s navel?
So hey! Let’s leave this courageous trailblazer alone. I mean, it’s not like he’s a Scientologist or something crazy like that.