While his portrayal of Charlie Harper in ‘Two and a Half Men’ earned Charlie Sheen acclaim, behind the scenes, turbulent personal events brought him under scrutiny. Here, we dive into the reasons behind the backlash Sheen faced and the events surrounding his divorce.
Sheen’s Tumultuous Times and the Resulting Backlash
By the time he took on the role of Charlie Harper in 2003, Sheen was no stranger to controversy. Prior incidents, including drug-related episodes and disputes with colleagues, had already grabbed headlines.
The success of ‘Two and a Half Men’ was considerable, but so too were the challenges Sheen faced on set. Reports emerged about his conflicts with co-stars and showrunners. Due to his drug and alcohol issues, he was ordered to go to rehab in 2011. He had trouble remembering his lines and was causing tensions on the set at this period.
Sheen also had a public falling out with the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre. Derogatory comments made by Sheen about Lorre, combined with concerns over Sheen’s off-set behavior, eventually led to his dismissal from the series in 2011.
After the news, the actor filed a $100 million lawsuit against Lorre and Warner Bros. Television. In September 2011, the case was settled. Sheen received a payout of $25 million, and this amount eventually became $100 million in syndication profits.
The following season, Ashton Kutcher joined the cast as Walden Schmidt. Sheen didn’t mince his words about Kutcher either. In 2014, he claimed that Kutcher was Cryer’s ‘lame sidekick’ in a tweet. However, he later buried the hatchet with both Kutcher and Lorre. In fact, he and Lorre worked together on the upcoming film ‘How to Be a Bookie.’
Alongside these on-set controversies, Sheen’s behavior outside of work also garnered attention. Public outbursts, unconventional interviews, and declarations became fodder for tabloids and news outlets alike.
For instance, in 2012, while promoting the opening of his new bar, Sheen used a homophobic slur while addressing the audience. After the backlash, the actor apologized and said he intended to say ‘maggot’ instead of ‘f*ggot,’ but he had a lisp.
In 2015, he made headlines again after he posted a racist tweet about Barack Obama, where he referred to him as ‘Barry Satera Kenya.’ His tweet was a reaction to Obama’s filling out a bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament. In the past, he also criticized Obama’s push for gun control after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
The Divorce Saga
Sheen and Denise Richards, who married in 2002 and had two children, found their relationship under the microscope from the get-go. After their split in 2006, Richards spoke to the Divorced Not Dead podcast and revealed that their relationship looked happy, but in fact, they were not.
As Richards reminisced, she decided she needed to divorce Sheen when she questioned if she would want their daughters to marry someone like him. At the time of their divorce, she was pregnant with their second daughter, Lola. In her statement, Richards also noted she’d sleep in their car rather than spend time in the toxic environment at home.
Denise also made headlines when she opened an OnlyFans account after her daughter Sami’s decision to launch her own profile. Upon hearing the news, Sheen said this would not have happened if Sami still lived with him. However, after a while, the actor changed his mind and decided to support their daughter.