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Video: Was it fair to fire Sheen?

  1. Transcript of: Was it fair to fire Sheen?

    MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: Speaking of the Internet , let's get to Charlie Sheen speaking out about his firing from " Two and a Half Men ." NBC 's Jeff Rossen is in Los Angeles with details. Jeff , good morning.

    JEFF ROSSEN reporting: Hi , Meredith , good morning to you. In just one week, Charlie Sheen has lost his kids and now his job as well. I talked to him just minutes after he was fired yesterday. I asked how he's feeling. He said, and I'm quoting here, "Great. I didn't like that show anyway or those dumb bowling shirts they made me wear. Now I'm free." But this morning, Sheen 's future in Hollywood is more uncertain than ever.

    Mr. CHARLIE SHEEN: Because you judge me, you condemn me, you discarded me. Well, not anymore. Winning.

    ROSSEN: Late Monday night, just hours after he was fired, Charlie Sheen went online and went off again.

    Mr. SHEEN: We are in the -- in the -- in the middle of a movement here, an odyssey of epic proportions , epic, epic proportions .

    ROSSEN: At times, Sheen barely made sense.

    Mr. SHEEN: I think we should do my book. Incidentally,

    the title, best title of all time, "Apocalypse Me: The Jaws of Life ."

    "Apocalypse Me: The Jaws of Life ." That was brilliant.

    ROSSEN: It's hard to watch, especially now. Charlie Sheen has been officially dumped from his hit sitcom, " Two and a Half Men ." No more temporary hiatus. Now it's really over. In its termination letter obtained by TMZ , Warner Bros. called Sheen "dangerously self-destructive" and "very ill."

    ROSSEN: Did you turn to alcohol and other substances because you were bored?

    Mr. SHEEN: No, I did -- I did that because they work.

    ROSSEN: Ever show up to the set drunk or high?

    Mr. SHEEN: Never once, never once. You know, a little bit sideways having not slept, but never loaded, never drunk, nothing on the set.

    ROSSEN: But in its letter, Warner Bros. says, "Outtakes of the filming show Mr. Sheen had difficulty remembering his lines and hitting his marks," and point out his sudden weight loss of 20 pounds after the Christmas break . "He appeared to be using drugs heavily." Studio execs say they even tried to help him repeatedly and "reached out to Mr. Sheen 's family and friends and had an airplane waiting to take him to rehab." CBS president, Les Moonves , personally visited Mr. Sheen in his home. But, the letter says, " Mr. Sheen refused to leave his home for treatment."

    Mr. SHEEN I'm free at last, free at last.

    ROSSEN: Just after he as fired Monday, Sheen was spotted out and about in Hollywood with one of his so-called "goddesses," waving a machete saying he'd destroy anyone who messed with his family, figuratively speaking. Then came the new webcast.

    Mr. SHEEN: Now I'm smoking a cigarette and drinking something I won't reveal, unless they pay me.

    ROSSEN: Warner Bros . said it "could not and should not attempt to continue 'business as usual' while Mr. Sheen destroys himself as the world watches."

    Mr. SHEEN: Everybody wins.

    ROSSEN: While Sheen says there's no morals clause in his contract, Warner Bros. claims there is, saying they can fire him if they believe he's "committed an act which constitutes a felony offense involving moral turpitude ."

    ROSSEN: The future of " Two and a Half Men " remains unclear. Does the show go on without Sheen , or is it finished entirely? Is he finished entirely?

    Mr. SHEEN: Keep in mind, like any time I roll something out, my plan is the best one in the room, and people are starting to wake up

    and realize that. That their plan......and my plan is gold.

    ROSSEN: Warner Bros . is taking it even a step further. They now want Charlie Sheen to pay them for lost revenue for all the missed episodes. Sheen has vowed to fight back in court and countersue. We also have new developments this morning in Sheen 's custody battle. His lawyer now tells NBC News settlement talks are progressing with Sheen 's estranged wife, Brooke Mueller , and they're hoping to reach a deal on their twin boys soon.

    Meredith: All right, Jeff Rossen , thank you very much . Media consultant, Steve Adubato , is the author of "What Were They Thinking." Linda Kenney Baden is a veteran trial attorney. Good morning to you both.

    VIEIRA: Good morning, Meredith .

    Ms. LINDA KENNEY BADEN: Good morning, Meredith .

    Mr. STEVE ADUBATO (Author, "What Were They Thinking"): Linda , let me start with you in this letter from Warner Bros.

    VIEIRA: Right.

    Ms. BADEN: It details what the studio claims are justifiable reasons to fire Sheen . At this point, do you think the studio has the upper hand here?

    VIEIRA: Oh absolutely not.

    Ms. BADEN: Not.

    VIEIRA: As an employment lawyer, I tell you I love this. It sets their position, and remember, he filmed live the last three episodes, two of the last three episodes of " Two and a Half Men ." So, if he was doing his job, the studio can't say, 'Well, you know, we didn't think you were ready to do your job because you didn't submit us a doctor's note.' He said, 'I'm ready to go.' And if I'm his lawyer I love this.

    Ms. BADEN: But, you know, the studio's saying that his performances have not been up to standard and that his interviews and his rants against Chuck Lorre , the show's creator, have been hurting the show.

    VIEIRA: It's a press release that's mean -- means nothing in the law. All that matters is his contract. What does his contract say and can he get paid for -- if he was ready to tape? And that's all that matters here. Remember, they're behind because he's in the world of Twitter , he's in the world of Facebook . He's in the social media. This is not 20th Century conglomerate

    Ms. BADEN: trying to catch up to Charlie needs -- Charlie Sheen 's....

    There's this whole issue -- yeah, there's this whole issues of the morals clause, too, whether there was one or wasn't.

    VIEIRA: Yeah.

    Mr. ADUBATO: If indeed there was one...

    VIEIRA: It's not a real one. The one that's in here is not a real morals clause.

    Ms. BADEN: Well...

    Mr. ADUBATO: It says -- they take them off the billing. So what? That doesn't mean they can't pay him. Or shouldn't pay him.

    Ms. BADEN: Look, Meredith , I have problems with the way CBS and Warner Bros. handled this because I felt they should have stepped in sooner. So my point of view is this...

    Mr. ADUBATO: There were other times, obviously, when he was behaving badly.

    VIEIRA: Look, domestic violence cases, you know, shot someone who he's very closely connected to. The situation at the plaza. What really -- in my mind what it came down to is the attacks against CBS and Warner Bros. And, ultimately, what they decided was he looks horrible, he's presenting himself in a terrible way. And that may work in a wacky webcast or it may work because, you know, we have this interest in the way he's acting right now. But that doesn't work in a family sitcom, even though he played, you know, a character that was a little bit left of center, if you will, in terms of his conduct. It doesn't work in a show like this. Forget about from a legal point of view.

    Mr. ADUBATO: But you can't. You can't forget from a legal point.

    Ms. BADEN: Their brand is hurt, his brand is destroyed. You can't -- listen...

    Mr. ADUBATO: You can't forget the legal point of view. His ratings were through the roof on the last rerun of " Two and a Half Men ." Why are we talking about him?

    Ms. BADEN: Because of the curiosity of his insanity.

    Mr. ADUBATO: Because he's theater. But that's...

    Ms. BADEN: Not because people are attracted to him. As a person you can watch on a regular basis?

    Mr. ADUBATO: That's what makes him great theater, and that's why it has nothing to do with his contract.

    Ms. BADEN: Listen, people pull over for train wrecks and car wrecks, too. That doesn't mean they'll do it on a regular basis. This is a different kind of situation.

    Mr. ADUBATO: Oh, I can't wait to watch him.

    Ms. BADEN: Well, he has said in response to his firing, he wrote, "It is a big day of gladness at the sober valley lodge because now I can take all of the bazillions."

    VIEIRA: Yeah.

    Mr. ADUBATO: Do you think there's any method to this?

    VIEIRA: Put it this way, he's losing $2 million an episode, and the last time I checked he was trying to sell T-shirts . So the question is, maybe he should listen to Suze Orman when it comes to managing money. My point is, he actually may have money problems. You lose $2 million, I don't know how that's a good day for you. An episode! This is not a good day for him. His brand is destroyed. I don't see how he works in a regular situation, but I think CBS and Warner Bros. are going to try to replace him. I don't know how that works.

    Mr. ADUBATO: Warner Bros . wants them to pay them for lost revenue. Any likelihood that's going...

    VIEIRA: Never, never is going to happen. As a matter of fact, what they've done in this letter is they've created a situation. They said, 'We've terminated you because we don't like your physical illness, we don't like your mental illness.' They may have given him an avenue to go to federal law . We don't like it, but this case is positioning to settle. This is all about positioning, and it has nothing to do about anything else.

    Ms. BADEN: But isn't that reason enough to fire them?

    VIEIRA: Absolutely. Absolutely.

    Mr. ADUBATO: I mean, if they don't like the way he's behaved, isn't that reason enough?

    VIEIRA: Can't do it. It's controlled by his contract. You can't just say, 'I don't like it.' I mean, they hired him because he is Charlie Sheen , because he is...

    Ms. BADEN: A felony charge.

    Mr. ADUBATO: By the way -- by the way, Steve and I didn't talk before we came as

    Ms. BADEN: you can see....

    A felony charge doesn't matter.

    Mr. ADUBATO: They didn't fire him for a felony charge.

    Ms. BADEN: A felony charge...

    Mr. ADUBATO: They didn't fire him when they listed those things.

    Ms. BADEN: They listed that. They sure did. They listed...

    Mr. ADUBATO: They mention that, obviously.

    VIEIRA: They mention it, but they didn't take action when he had the felony charge. They renewed his contract last May.

    Ms. BADEN: You're right about that. They should have acted then because now it looks like they're doing it because he looks bad, because he's presenting in a terrible way.

    Mr. ADUBATO: Because he attacked the executive producer, and they didn't like it.

    Ms. BADEN: That as well.

    Mr. ADUBATO: That's what it all comes down to.

    Ms. BADEN: OK, well, we'll see how this all shakes out. If I were you , I'd tweet about this, you guys. Linda Kenney Baden and Steve Adubato , thank you very much .

    VIEIRA:

Photos: Charlie Sheen

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  1. Family affair

    Martin Sheen, Charlie Sheen's real-life father plays Martin, on Charlie's show "Anger Management." (FX) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Smoking man

    Sheen, left, holds a necrotic lung affected by tobacco use and a healthy lung as he talks to Dr. Oz during a taping of "The Dr. Oz Show," in New York. Sheen, who is a heavy smoker, also discussed his manic behavior and anger issues in the January 2013 episode. (Barbara Nitke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Star power

    Sheen, left, speaks as former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 10, 2012 in Hollywood, Calif. (Joe Klamar / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Play ball!

    Sheen acknowledges the fans before throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on July 7, 2012 in San Diego. (Denis Poroy / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. In the hot seat

    Comedy Central roasted Sheen in one of their infamous specials on Sept. 10, 2011. (Christopher Polk / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Enter the Warlock

    Sheen shows off his Detroit Tigers jersey during his performance at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on Saturday, April 2, 2011. Promising "the real story," the 45-year-old former "Two and a Half Men" star hit the road for a month-long, 20-city variety show tour, with the first stop a sold-out show in Detroit. (Carlos Osorio / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Thumbs down

    A Sheen fan offers her review while leaving the Fox Theatre in Detroit on April 2, 2011. (Geoff Robins / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. The gang's all here

    Sheen, second from left, is joined by Joey Scoleri of Live Nation, left, and "goddesses" Bree Olson and Natalie Kenly, right, at the after party for his Chicago tour stop at Enclave on April 3, 2011. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Blood thirst

    Charlie Sheen is seen on the rooftop of the Live Nation building drinking "Tiger Blood" in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 7, 2011. The "Two and a Half" men star was fired from the show earlier in the day by Warner Bros. (Jean Baptiste Lacroix / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Two for one

    Sheen poses with the two women he refers to as his "goddesses" in the kitchen of his Los Angeles home during the first week of March 2011. Natalie "Natty" Kenly, left, a model, and Rachel Oberlin, aka porn star Bree Olsen, gained fame during the actor's media blitz over his fight with CBS and Warner Bros. television. (Michael Austin / NBC News) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Plenty to say

    Adult film star Capri Anderson, the woman who was in Charlie Sheen's hotel room the night he allegedly trashed his suite, talks with ABC about the incident. Claiming to have feared for her life upon being locked in the bathroom, Capri said, "I'm not going to stand down and be completely be walked over." Anderson filed a harassment lawsuit, Sheen then countersued for extortion, and the case was dropped. (ABC via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Before the storm

    Sheen joins his ex wife Denise Richards and their daughters Sam and Lola in a trip to the American Museum of Natural History in New York on Oct. 25, 2010. Their museum visit ended a weekend together in which the four of them went shopping at an American Girl store, dined at Serafina Broadway and took in the Broadway show Mary Poppins.

    Sheen was later hospitalized after he was found drunk and naked with an alleged escort in his trashed room at The Plaza hotel. Damages to the room reportedly totaled $7,000. The actor's rep later said Sheen had had an allergic reaction to medication. (INFphoto.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Back to rehab

    Sheen, second from right, arrives with his attorney Richard Cummins, second from left, for a sentencing hearing at the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen, Colo., on Aug. 2, 2010. Sheen was sentenced under a plea deal to get a 30-day sentence to be "administered and executed" at Promises rehab facility in Malibu, Calif., for assaulting his wife Brooke Mueller during an alcohol-fueled Christmas Day quarrel in Aspen. (Rick Wilking / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. See you in a month

    Sheen, right, leaves the Pitkin County Courthouse with his attorney Richard Cummins in Aspen, Colo., on Monday, June 7, 2010. A sentencing hearing for the actor in his domestic assault case against wife Brooke Mueller was continued until July 12. (Ed Andrieski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. More troubles

    Sheen's Mercedes was apparently stolen from his Shermon Oaks, Calif., home in early 2010. It was found overturned hundreds of feet down a nearby cliff. On June 15, 2010, police reported a second Mercedes suffered the same fate. (Gus Ruelas / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Not-so-merry Christmas

    Brooke Mueller Sheen called police on Christmas Day, 2009, reporting that Sheen attacked and threatened her. (Riccardo S. Savi / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Got my designs on you

    Sheen has collaborated with the owner of the Rock & Roll Religion clothing line to create a line of shirts called the DaVinci Collection by Charlie Sheen. Sheen's "Two and a Half Men" character wears similar shirts. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Viva ALMA!

    Sheen, born Carlos Estevez, captured the outstanding male performance in a comedy TV series award at the 2008 ALMA Awards. The honors are given to Latino performers who promote positive portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment field. Sheen's paternal grandparents were Spanish, his maternal grandparents Irish. (Frank Micelotta / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Trying marriage again

    In 2008, Sheen married real-estate investor Brooke Mueller, seen here with Sheen and his daughters, Sam and Lola. The couple's twins, Bob and Max, were born on March 14, 2009. A Christmas Day fight that same year has sent Sheen's latest round of marital woes back into the tabloids. (Donato Sardella / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Play clothes for the posh

    Fashion executive Michael Berens, Sheen and clothing designer Suzanne Ciulla pose with children wearing clothes from Sheen Kidz, a couture children’s sportswear inspired by Sheen’s daughters, Sam and Lola. (Donato Sardella / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A 'Platoon' reunited

    Actor Willem Dafoe, director Oliver Stone, an unidentified guest, Sheen and Tom Berenger reunited for a screening of their classic film "Platoon" at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival in France. (Francois Durand / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. 'Bounce' back

    Sheen starred in "The Big Bounce," a critical flop, in 2004. Although the film was based on a novel by Elmore Leonard and features Owen Wilson and Morgan Freeman in addition to Sheen, it was a disaster, and cost $50 million to make. It earned back only $6 million. (Warner Bros.) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Men, men, men, men, manly men

    Sheen and Jon Cryer play brothers with opposite temperaments in the CBS hit comedy "Two and a Half Men." Sheen reportedly earns $825,000 per episode on the show. (CBS via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Till divorce do us part

    Sheen married actress Denise Richards in 2002, and they had two daughters, Sam and Lola. Richards filed for divorce in 2005, and the details of their marriage, estrangement and custody battle quickly became tabloid fodder. Richards accused Sheen of abusing drugs and alcohol, and threatening her with violence. (Robert Mora / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Keep the Globe spinning

    In 2002, Sheen won the Golden Globe Award for best performance by an actor in a television comedy or musical series for his role in "Spin City." (Scott Nelson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Putting a 'Spin' on things

    Sheen, shown with Barry Bostwick and Heather Locklear, played Charlie Crawford on "Spin City" from 2000 to 2002. As he does in "Two and a Half Men," Sheen played a character with the same first name as himself. Tony Danza Syndrome, perhaps? (ABC via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. X marks the film

    Sheen teamed again with brother Emilio Estevez to play real-life brothers Jim and Artie Mitchell in 2000's "Rated X." The Mitchells were pioneers in the pornography and strip-club industries in San Francisco in the 1970s and '80s. (Showtime via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. In court

    Drug issues have troubled Sheen for years. In 1998, he appeared in a Malibu, Calif., courtroom, where a judge ruled that the actor, who nearly died of a drug overdose five months before, could be released from his rehabilitation facility. (Nick Ut / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. He'll be there for you

    Sheen kisses Lisa Kudrow in his appearance on the hit show "Friends" in 1996. (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Geronimo!

    In 1994's "Terminal Velocity," Sheen starred with Nastassja Kinski in a film about a skydiver who apparently dies on her first jump, but turns out to have faked her death. (Walt Disney Studios) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Family of stars

    Sheen, father Martin Sheen and brother Emilio Estevez unveil Charlie's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. (Jim Smeal / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. All for one, and one for all

    Sheen played Aramis, one of "The Three Musketeers," in the 1993 film version of Alexandre Dumas' classic story. Kiefer Sutherland played Athos, Oliver Platt played Porthos, and Chris O'Donnell played D'Artagnan, who longs to join the trio. (Walt Disney Studios) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Daddy and daughter

    Sheen and his daughter, Cassandra Jade Estevez, attended the 1992 premiere of "The Mighty Ducks." Sheen was just 19 when Cassandra was born. (Ron Galella / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Mullet man

    In the comedy spoofs "Hot Shots" and "Hot Shots Part Deux," Sheen plays Navy pilot Topper Harley. "Part Deux" parodies the action-movie genre, particularly the Rambo films. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Brothers at work

    Sheen and brother Emilio Estevez teamed up in 1990's "Men at Work," about two garbage collectors who discover a corpse. (Triumph Releasing) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Three strikes, yer out

    Sheen, right, and Tom Berenger starred in 1989's "Major League," a comedy about a fictionalized version of the Cleveland Indians. Sheen played Ricky Vaughn, an out-of-control pitcher who improves once he gets glasses. (Paramount via Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Bang, bang, my baby shot me down

    In 1990, before Kelly Preston wed John Travolta, she was engaged to Sheen, who gave her a 2.5 carat pink diamond engagement ring. The engagement ended shortly after he accidentally shot her in the arm, causing a wound that required stitches. (Ron Galella / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Guns blazing

    Sheen, middle right, and Emilio Estevez, front, starred with Lou Diamond Phillips, Kiefer Sutherland, Casey Siemaszko and Dermot Mulroney in 1988's Western, "Young Guns." (20th Cenury Fox via Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Greed is good

    Sheen starred in 1987's "Wall Street," where he plays Bud Fox, a young, ambitious trader who falls under the spell of ruthless millionaire Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas. Reportedly Sheen and director Oliver Stone parted ways after Stone approached Sheen to star in "Born on the Fourth of July," but then cast Tom Cruise without telling Sheen. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Fighting the war outside and the war inside

    In 1986's "Platoon," Sheen, center, starred with Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger in Stone's critically lauded Vietnam War movie. The film was based on Stone's own war experiences, and is regularly listed by critics as one of the best war films ever made. (Orion Pictures via Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Putting the moves on Ferris Bueller's sister

    Sheen and Jennifer Grey starred in 1986's "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," with Grey playing Ferris Bueller's snotty sister Jeanie and Sheen a rebel she meets at the police station. (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. WOLVERINES!

    Sheen got his movie start in 1984's "Red Dawn." His fellow young stars included Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey. (MGM) Back to slideshow navigation
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Timeline: Charlie Sheen's ups and downs

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