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updated 3/2/2011 7:01:35 PM ET 2011-03-03T00:01:35

When Charlie Sheen threatened and maligned his bosses over "Two and a Half Men," it was business and, to some people at least, bizarrely comic. When his estranged wife alleged that she and their twin toddlers were in peril from the TV star, the saga turned ugly.

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Sheen's 23-month-old sons were removed from his home Tuesday night after Brooke Mueller Sheen claimed that he threatened her with decapitation, adding a nasty custody battle to the actor's bitter war with the studio and producers who shut down his hit CBS show.

Story: Sheen: ‘I don’t know where my children are’

Her claims followed days of sometimes manic, sometimes violence-tinged media interviews by Sheen, part of a public campaign to disprove that he is a drug-using, reckless playboy who was unable or unfit to work on this season's final episodes of TV's No. 1 comedy.

Sheen's grandstanding has fascinated the public, with his Twitter account drawing more than 1 million followers a day after it was created. But Mueller Sheen said in a claim seeking a restraining order filed Tuesday that his "bizarre, disturbing and violent" comments made her fear for the safety of their children because Sheen "does not appear mentally stable."

Story: Charlie Sheen is now 'winning' on Twitter

According to Mueller Sheen's filing, Charlie Sheen has rarely seen the boys in the past year, but took them on Saturday and refused to return them.

According to a sworn declaration filed in the case, she said her husband told her in a phone call Sunday night, "I will cut your head off, put it in a box and send it to your mom!" She also claimed earlier threats and physical abuse.

Video: Analyst: ‘Focused’ Sheen is ‘father in pain’ (on this page)

A court order issued Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press requires Sheen to stay 100 yards away from Mueller Sheen and their twin sons. Sheen has two other children with former wife Denise Richards.

The twins, Max and Bob, were taken from Sheen's Hollywood Hills home that night and returned to their mother's care. The boys turn 2 on March 14.

A Los Angeles Police Department statement that its officers had removed the boys was incorrect, police Officer Bruce Borihanh said Wednesday. The department was not involved and he didn't know which agency might have been responsible, he said.

Video: Sheen: I stayed calm, focused while surrendering kids (on this page)

Mueller Sheen's attorneys did not immediately respond Wednesday to a query about the event.

Text messages sent to Sheen Wednesday morning for comment were not immediately returned. A phone message left for Sheen's divorce attorney, Mark Gross, was not immediately returned. A hearing on the order is scheduled for March 22.

Earlier, on NBC's "Today" show, Sheen said he was "very calm and focused" about having the children taken away but was ready to fight to get them back.

Moments later, Sheen was asked by reporters outside his home whether the legal move came out of left field for him.

"It came out of the bleachers, actually," he said. "Yeah, I was told a restraining order was being delivered and I thought, 'OK, I can deal with that.' And it was revealed that it was something much more serious."

Slideshow: Spiraling Sheen (on this page)

Asked why Mueller got the court order, he replied, "It's just silly. I think she's latching on to some of this recent press."

In interviews filled with strange comments such as "I got tiger blood, man," Sheen has lobbed vitriol at "Men" executive producer Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros. Television while sharing details about his unusual home life and insisting he was "winning." He's demanding a big raise from his $1.8 million-an-episode pay — already among the highest in television.

In a house he calls "Sober Valley Lodge," Sheen has been living with a former porn star and a model — his "goddesses," he says. Sheen was asked on "Today" if marijuana magazine cover model Natalie Kenly and adult film star Rachel Oberlin, who performed as Bree Olson, helped care for the twins.

Sheen reveals demands to his bosses

"Oh, yeah. If I can't be there, they're there, and it's like everybody helps out. ... There's nothing broken here," Sheen said.

The seemingly unlimited soapbox that media outlets have given Sheen has provoked strong criticism.

"No one is exercising any discretion, at least the kind that weighs things like taste, proportion and decency instead of ratings points," Los Angeles Times media columnist James Rainey wrote in Wednesday's paper.

Ben Grossman, editor-in-chief of Broadcasting & Cable magazine, urged ABC on Monday to cancel its "20/20" interview with Sheen that night. He rapped the media for "celebrating the sad effects of an illness. And that is not a healthy way to do business."

Sheen's wife claims in her filing that Sheen abused her as early as October 2009, when she says he shoved her to the ground, causing her to lose consciousness when she hit her head on a couch.

Mueller Sheen also noted a Christmas Day 2009 fight in Aspen, Colo., that led to the actor pleading guilty to misdemeanor third-degree assault. Sometime after that incident, Mueller Sheen wrote in her court filing that Sheen told her, "I should have killed you when I had the chance!"

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Sheen previously pleaded no contest in a 1997 incident in which a girlfriend accused him of throwing her to the floor of his home and threatening to kill her if she told anyone. Sheen was fined $2,800, given two years' probation and ordered to attend counseling.

Mueller Sheen also said that during a recent trip to the Bahamas with Sheen — and the two women currently living with him — Sheen threatened to stab her in the eye with a pen knife, spit on her feet and punched her on the arm.

Mueller Sheen acknowledges her own sobriety issues in the declaration. She said she is in a day rehab treatment program, but that she can care for the children for four hours during the day and at night. She told the court that she would be living with a sober companion, and that her mother would help with the twins' care.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Sheen: I stayed calm, focused while surrendering kids

  1. Closed captioning of: Sheen: I stayed calm, focused while surrendering kids

    >>> we begin with charlie sheen speaking live about the removal of his twin boys from his home. first, jeff rossen has the latest. good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning to you. charlie sheen called us and said police came to his house in the darkness of night with representatives from brooke mueller 's camp, his estranged wife and took his children, max and bob, who turn 2 in a couple of weeks out of the house , removed them. they had been staying with charlie sheen . the lapd confirms for nbc news that did happen without incident. the kids were removed pursuant to a court order that brooke mueller had gotten in an l.a. county courtroom just yesterday claiming that the kids should not be raised in that kind of environment with charlie 's goddesses and what else is going on inside the house . as you mentioned, meredith, charlie sheen is here for a live interview. we'll get his reaction. but first a look behind closed doors . for charlie sheen , this was the perfect place to raise his twin boys, inside his los angeles mansion with the two women he calls his goddesses.

    >> we run errands, eat, play with the kids.

    >> we think up fun plans.

    >> we watch movies. i watch a lot of "two and a half men."

    >> reporter: do you love his kids?

    >> are you kidding? i was just up there. bob was like -- i didn't want to put them down. they're like, they're calling you. he's like, bye, saying bye to the --

    >> the you say dad's busy he says, okay, dada's busy. he knows. he's fine with it.

    >> reporter: is this normal, pictures of the kids on the fridge?

    >> aside from the days we have the gold palm fronds and fan him.

    >> they'll run with that.

    >> i'm joking.

    >> reporter: do the goddesses raise your kids?

    >> yeah. if i can't be there, everybody helps out. i don't know. there's nothing broken here.

    >> reporter: but late tuesday night officers arrived at his home and removed his boys, max and bob, reportedly after sheen's estranged wife brooke mueller , the boys' mother who's also battled drug abuse , filed for a restraining order in court concerned about her children's well-being.

    >> reporter: you said you want to rededicate yourself to your kids.

    >> sure.

    >> reporter: are you embarrassed that your kid wills read about this?

    >> god, no. talk about an education. this guy's our dad and we can get the answers and the truth? wow, winning.

    >> reporter: charlie sheen joins us for a live interview with his lawyer mark gross .

    >> thank you.

    >> reporter: what happened at the house last night? you were home. the boys were awake or asleep?

    >> they were just being put to bed. my secretary informed me the police were on their way down to issue a restraining order . i thought, okay, we can deal with that. i got my lawyer on the phone and it was revealed once i opened the door that they were there to remove bob and max. so, you know, i professed in the last few days to not deal and come from a place of panic, ego, emotion, so i stayed calm and focused. somebody badges you, they win in that moment. it seemed odd. there were others that didn't seem qualified to carry out such an operation.

    >> reporter: like who?

    >> a couple of gentlemen who wouldn't show i.d., wouldn't identify themselves. looked like they were from the rehab facility more than law enforcement . i didn't push it. i'm not into resisting the law. just had to surrender to it knowing that this is now the challenge i claim to be looking for. i'm more than willing to take on this task. if anybody thought my focus was directed in a radical capacity, that's going to seem like child's play.

    >> reporter: so they went upstairs? who got the children?

    >> i did and emma and laura, the nannies. we videotaped the whole thing so there was no -- nobody could claim otherwise. you have seen the video. they didn't have car seats so i provided them. i said, i love you, and i said, don't say good-bye. say " see you later ." later is, as we believe, to be very soon.

    >> reporter: sitting here hours after it happened do you know where your children are?

    >> i do not. that's a good question. that's a good point. isn't there some legal protection or some law that should inform the father of where his children are being removed and delivered to?

    >> you or any other father has the right to know where your children are. the silence by brooke 's attorneys is conspicuous.

    >> yeah.

    >> reporter: did you say to the police officers , a, where are you from and, b, where are you taking my children before i hand them over to you?

    >> stupidly, i assumed they were going back to the house they have been living in with brooke when they are not with me. i think we got reports last night they were at a hotel in santa monica . at this moment on live television i don't know where my children are, but i am not panicking. this is not about emotion or ego ego. this is about focus and getting in touch with what i have to do to complete the task of bringing these two beautiful young men back to the home that they deserve to be raised in. there is more love, compassion, support, child care and everything else you could possibly want for a child in this lovely home. it's not a house . it's a home right down that hill.

    >> reporter: according to tmz brooke went to court yesterday and told the judge you threatened her recently and that's why she filed the court order . she said you told her, i will cut your head off, put it in a box and send it to your mom.

    >> colorful.

    >> reporter: did you say it?

    >> no. but you can formulate things and make them sound like it came from my mouth.

    >> reporter: a lot of people watched the video from "today" yesterday. when we were in the house with the goddesses and said, you know, maybe two young boys shouldn't be raised in this environment. you know, with women who they are just meeting. how do you respond to that, respond to the critics and your estranged wife?

    >> i invite anybody to come in and observe. if it's a court -appointed monitor, somebody from the legal team, her, you with a camera. there is nothing to hide. as i said, there is nothing but love and compassion and absolute support for these amazing children. i'm going to go ahead and say that regardless of what people offer in the form of judgment or opinion, based on preconceived whatever, it's 100,000 times better than what will be offered in her house .

    >> reporter: will you sit here today and say you will go to the negotiating table with brooke mueller ? i'm sure your anger is through the roof now.

    >> i'm calm. had i received a phone call , i would have been willing to play ball and say absolutely, this is fine. in fact, i was going to call her because she's been requesting a two-hour visit asking lourdes to bring them somewhere. i had rejected it, because i knew that unlike myself that a drug test would not be clean.

    >> in fact, when we were aware brooke had gone to the police and the police took no action we were concerned because it was charlie 's court -ordered time with the children. i attempted to contact brooke 's attorneys but no one returned a phone call .

    >> reporter: is this normal, in your experience?

    >> it's atypical?

    >> reporter: police coming to the house at night.

    >> the issuing of a court of an order, but it is atypical to issue an order with no notice to the other side. often courts will do it in abundance of caution and we have to figure out what to do next.

    >> reporter: what's next? as charlie 's lawyer how will you try to get the children back?

    >> i don't want to show my hand, but we'll look at the allegations, figure out not just to get charlie 's word against brooke 's, but independent witnesses to verify the accuracy or inaccuracy of statements. it rehashes a lot of old stuff. it's unfortunate they chose to go this route instead of communicating. but we are willing to sit down and try to work it out.

    >> absolutely.

    >> reporter: is there anything you want to say to brooke ? may be your only chance to talk to her considering there is a restraining order .

    >> i understand. is that violating it? those things get creative these days.

    >> there is no order preventing you from contacting her. but you never want anything twisted.

    >> brooke , i'm sorry you felt this had to be done in this way. this does not display any responsible parenting in anything i'm familiar with. i think cooler and smarter, leveler heads can prevail. i urge you to reach out to me immediately if not sooner and tell me where our sons are.

    >> reporter: we'll leave it there with the children. i want to move on to your legal battle with cbs .

    >> oh, that.

    >> reporter: that other thing happening in your life. you have been out of work a couple of weeks now.

    >> yeah.

    >> reporter: obviously the future of the show is in jeopardy at this point.

    >> sure.

    >> reporter: cbs and warner brothers haven't said much, only that you lost your job this season because of your conduct, statements and behavior.

    >> sure.

    >> reporter: first of all, your lawyer sent a letter demanding that you get paid for all eight episodes cancelled this season.

    >> sure.

    >> reporter: and for the first time since this happened, les moonves , the president spoke out. there was audio rolling. let's listen.

    >> good.

    >> doing eight less originals saves us money . i'm not saying long term i want this to go on or it's great, but the repeat last night actually was the fourth highest rated show of the night. he's on the air quite a bit these days. i wish he would have worked this hard to promote himself for an emmy. i hope it's back. we'll see.

    >> reporter: so less moonves is saying cbs is fine without charlie sheen now.

    >> i don't know if i would paraphrase it like that. it was an intelligent spin. he's a brilliant businessman. look where he is. look who he got. you have to be nominated first to go out and launch a campaign. that's a little detail, but it was a good joke in good spirits. nothing has changed on this end. i thought getting the crew paid for four was a good direction.

    >> reporter: warner brothers agreed to pay for four. you want them paid for all eight.

    >> well, yeah. that's the way it will be completed. the rest of my cast and myself in that order. until that happens there is nothing to talk about. then we can open up a dialogue for the future of season 9 and the rest of it, you know.

    >> reporter: are you ready to go back to work? it will be obviously a tense set. you have chuck lorre . can you work with him again?

    >> it's up to him. i can't even get a phone call returned. i can't get a phone call in a live, open forum .

    >> reporter: you want chuck to call you?

    >> well, yeah. something, anything. even if he calls, hears my voice and hangs up quick.

    >> reporter: why don't you call him?

    >> i deleted the number from my phone.

    >> reporter: why? out of anger?

    >> it was a recommendation from this guy. i don't know. i issued my questions through you. i was even and direct and i have requested some interaction in other live forums. rhymes with cnn. i made it clear where i stand and why i stand here. it's feeling like they are hiding based on nothing. i'm not trying to insult everybody. i'm as confused as everybody here and all of my beautiful and perfect fans.

    >> reporter: charlie sheen , mark gross , thanks for joining us. charlie , meredith vieira in new york has a question for you.

    >> go for it.

    >> thank you very much.

    >> is this the million dollar question?

    >> maybe, if you give me the final answer i'm looking for. charlie , i want to go back to your kids. obviously you are upset about the boys. any message you want to deliver to them?

    >> bob, max, it's dada. i will see you very soon. you're right hear.

    >> thank you very much for joining us.

    >> thank you, sweetie.

    >> mark, do you plan to go to court today to get this undone, this restraining order ?

    >> we will not be in court today.

    >> reporter: why not go to court today?

    >> unlike brooke 's attorney, anything we do will be with notice and so the earliest we could be in court would be tomorrow. we'll weigh our options whether it's tomorrow or friday.

    >> reporter: what would be your message to the judge about why the children should be returned to charlie and how long were you supposed to have them?

    >> until thursday -- what time?

    >> until 10:00 . his custody time ended today at 10:00 . the message essentially would be there isn't even an allegation that charlie is a danger to the children, harmed or threatened the children, which is why i'm surprised by the issuance of the order.

    >> reporter: thank you very much. meredith, back to you.

    >> thank you. our thanks to charlie sheen and mark gross

Timeline: Charlie Sheen's ups and downs

TODAYshow.com | Link |

Photos: Spiraling Sheen

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  1. Brian Fairrington / Politicalcartoons.com
    Above: Slideshow (8) Spiraling Sheen
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    Slideshow (42) Talent and troubles follow Charlie Sheen

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