TODAY | December 27, 2009
>>> allings thank you very much. it was not a very merry christmas for charlie sheen , one of tv's highest-paid actors. the 44-year-old spent part of his holiday in jail after being arrested on domestic violence charges. nbc's miguel alma gere has the latest.
>> reporter: on friday, police in the exclusive community of aspen arrested the 44-year-old actor for domestic violence . his wife, brooke mueller, who was allegedly drunk at 8:30 in the morning, called 911. tmz reports that sheen threatened mueller with a knife. the website later saying he recanted her story.
>> he could be looking at three years behind bars on the assault charge alone. and if you add up all of the charges, he could be seven and a half years in prison.
>> reporter: for charlie sheen , who faces two felonies, the charges are the latest in a long string of scandals and controversies. he shot to fame in the late '80s with starring roles in films like " wall street ." but before long, the young actor's career was in jeopardy because of his offscreen lifestyle.
>> my son wasd admitted here yesterday as a result of a drug overdose .
>> reporter: the son of martin sheen , charlie sheen has dated porn stars , overdosed on drugs, spent time in rehab and was alleged to have been a top client of hollywood madam, heidi fleiss . in 1990 , he accidentally shot former fianc?e kelly preston , in the arm.
>> whenever he's in a relationship it seals to go very bad and oftentimes very violent.
>> reporter: this was all before he married denise richards in 2002 . three years later, richards filed for divorce in what became a nasty public break-up. richards accused sheen of drug and alcohol abuse . the emmy-nominated and award-winning performer is the current star of "two and a half men" the number-one comedy believed to be loosely based on his playboy lifestyle. in which he reportedly makes $20 million a year. a resilient actor making headlines again off-stage. for "today," miguel almaguer, nbc news, hollywood.