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Charlie Sheen filed a $100 million lawsuit against Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros. in Los Angeles Superior Court Thursday.
He’s also suing on behalf of the Two and a Half Men cast and crew, and asking for punitive damages. Read it here (PDF).
STORY: Five things you didn’t know about Chuck Lorre
“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,” writes his lawyer, Marty Singer.
VIDEO: Charlie Sheen’s bizarre television interviews
Singer blames the cancelation of the remaining eight episodes of this season on, “Warner Bros. capitulating to Lorre’s egotistical desire to punish Mr. Sheen….” and having nothing to do with Sheen’s controversial comments about Lorre. The suit alleges that Lorre wanted to quit the show so he could work on his other series, Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.
PHOTOS: Charlie Sheen’s career ups and downs
Singer also says they fired Sheen when he was “willing, ready and able to proceed” taping, but if they had used his “condition” as cause to terminate his contract, it would have been a violation of state law.
The lawsuit points out that Warner Bros. renegotiated Sheen’s contract when he was facing felony charges for allegedly assaulting his ex wife Brooke Mueller — which pokes holes in Warner Bros’ allegation that he violated his contract’s “moral turpitude” clause, which the studio cited to abruptly terminate Sheen’s services in a bombshell 11-page letter messengered to Singer’s office on March 7. (The letter pre-emptively initiated an arbitration proceeding against him.)
The star’s “dangerously self-destructive behavior” — including the “disturbing rampage” at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the “banging 7-gram rocks” of cocaine and the all-night parties with porn-star “goddesses” that caused him to have “difficulty remembering his lines and hitting his marks”– rendered Sheen incapable of working on the show, Warners said, and, thereby, in default on his contract.
STORY: First interview with Marty Singer
Within minutes of its delivery, the letter had been leaked to the website TMZ, owned by WB parent Time Warner, and Singer promised to file his own lawsuit against Warners and Lorre, as the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Warner Bros. litigator John Spiegel, in his first interview since taking on the case with partner Ron Olson, told THR earlier this week, “This is not about Chuck Lorre. It’s about a serious health issue that has rendered Charlie Sheen unable to perform the essential duties of his position.”
Lorre has signed his own lawyer, Howard Weitzman, a veteran of Hollywood disputes. Asked about Singer’s position, Weitzman tells THR, “That’s not a ‘winning’ argument.
“The conspiracy theory is a pure fantasy,” he continues. “Chuck is very concerned for Charlie’s health. We all believe Warner Bros. did the right thing given the situation Mr. Sheen created.”
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