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Charlie Sheen sues Warner Bros. for $100 million

The actor on Thursday filed a $100 million lawsuit against film and television studio Warner Bros. for firing him from his "Two And A Half Men" TV show, according to a representative for Sheen's attorney.
/ Source: TODAY news services

Charlie Sheen on Thursday filed a $100 million lawsuit against film and television studio Warner Bros. for firing the actor from his "Two And A Half Men" TV show, according to a representative for Sheen's attorney.

The suit also names the show's producer, Chuck Lorre, as a co-defendant and was filed on behalf of the program's cast and crew, according to a copy of the suit posted on celebrity website

A spokesman for Warner Bros. had no immediate comment.

Sheen took to Twitter soon after the lawsuit's filing, writing, "Fastball: Torpedo away ... You corporate Trolls were warned. And now you've been served!"

The suit blasts Lorre and Warner Bros. for deciding "unilaterally not to pay Mr. Sheen or other cast and the crew the remainder of this season."

The filing comes four days after Sheen was fired, leaving the top-rated sitcom's future in doubt.

On top of Sheen's $100 million request for damages, the 45-year-old actor is seeking punitive damages.

The complaint states that Sheen's most recent contract, executed last May, entitles him to be paid whether or not the series films for up to 24 episodes per season through late 2011.

Sheen's lawsuit states that he attempted to return to the series in mid-February, but was told that Lorre had not prepared production scripts for the season's remaining episodes, which was later shortened.

The lawsuit includes several references to Lorre's ego and claims the veteran television producer of shows such as "Roseanne" and "The Big Bang Theory" has trouble managing top-tier actors.

"This dispute is not the first time that Lorre has had problems working with major television stars, including Roseanne Barr, Cybill Shepherd and Brett Butler," the complaint states.

Lorre's attorney, Howard Weitzman, said the allegations against his client are as "recklessly false and unwarranted as Mr. Sheen's rantings in the media. These accusations are simply imaginary."

The lawsuit is about a "fantasy" lottery payout for Sheen, Weitzman said in a statement Thursday, adding, "Chuck Lorre's concern has been and continues to be about Mr. Sheen's health."

The studio declined to comment on the suit, as did series co-star Jon Cryer.

'Ridiculous' positionThe actor's attorney, Marty Singer, told The Hollywood Reporter that Sheen was forced to sue because Warner's position — that Sheen was fired because his personal problems rendered him unable to perform his duties on the show — is not true.

"When a production company and network are willing to hire someone who is a convicted felon and accused of putting a knife to his wife's throat, and they know that this person has substance abuse problems, it's obvious that their position in this dispute is ridiculous," Singer said. "What Warner Bros. is really saying is you can't mess with the 900 pound gorilla showrunner [Lorre] or you will get tossed."

In bringing the case on behalf of the cast and crew, Sheen has employed California Labor Code Section 2699, the state’s private attorney general statute, which allows individuals to initiate lawsuits on behalf of others. Singer told THR why Sheen felt the need to bring the others who work on "Men" into the lawsuit.

"If you look at the quotes from Charlie from Day One, this is not just about him," Singer said. "Chuck Lorre could dictate who gets paid and who doesn’t, and a lot of other people got hurt."

Did any of the cast and crew ask Sheen to file a lawsuit on their behalf?

"I'm not going to comment on what people said privately,” Singer said. "But if the cast and crew did something on their own they would be blackballed. Once you file a lawsuit, you don't get paid and you don't get hired. Charlie is looking out for the people he's working with. Warner Bros. can try to cast this however they want but the complaint speaks for itself."

Sheen, the highest-paid actor on U.S. TV for his role as a hard-drinking, skirt-chasing bachelor on "Two And A Half Men," entered a home drug and alcohol rehab program in January after media reports of his wild partying lifestyle.

In a series of recent interviews, including with ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today" show, Sheen boasted about his "epic" partying, said he's fueled by "violent hatred" of his bosses and claimed to have kicked drugs at home in his "Sober Valley Lodge."

He glorified himself as a "rock star from Mars" with "fire breathing fists" and "Adonis DNA" and talked about his home life with two women he nicknamed his "goddesses."

The actor, who was among TV's highest-paid at a reported $1.8 million per episode for "Men," brashly said at one point that he would ask for $3 million if he signed a new contract for future seasons.

Sheen's rants against his detractors only escalated from there, and on Monday of this week, Warner Bros, terminated its contract with Sheen.

Reuters, The Hollywood Reporter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.