Charlie Sheen Is a Dream Witness for CBS

Thursday, 03 Mar 2011 10:38 AM

By James Hirsen

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Making the rounds on broadcast network morning shows, Charlie Sheen told NBC News that he plans to file a lawsuit against CBS for canceling his “Two and a Half Men” show for the rest of the season.

“I'm gonna sue for what I'm worth and what I deserve and what they think they can take from me. They can't,” Sheen said. “I don't have a job. I got a whole family to support and love. And people beyond myself, people a lot more important than me, are relying on that money to fuel the magic.”

Sheen also took a drug test, and results indicated, according to ABC News and Radar, that the actor was drug free for at least the prior 72 hours.

The actor said that he is willing to come back to the show for at least two more seasons but also quipped that Warner Bros. may have to change its name to “Charlie Bros.”

Neither CBS nor Warner Bros. are likely to take Sheen’s lawsuit threats all that seriously. His potential suit would depend upon the provisions of his contract, something the actor admits he hasn’t set his eyes on yet.

“I haven't read it,” he told radio host Dan Patrick, “I don't think it covers, ‘Let me totally dominate and interfere with your personal life.’”

No doubt Sheen’s high-profile lawyer, Yale Galanter, is perusing Sheen’s contract very carefully, looking for a crucial clause.

A contract provision that stems from the old studio system in Hollywood, which is still found in numerous entertainment contracts, is called a “morals clause.” Such a provision would require certain restrictions on conduct, on and off the set, which may potentially undermine the entertainment company.

In essence, a morals clause enables a studio to terminate an agreement if a star comports himself or herself in a manner in which a studio’s business interests may be damaged.

Sheen previously lost an endorsement gig for Hanes underwear for this very reason, after he got into legal trouble for allegedly threatening back in 2009 his now ex-wife.

Considering Sheen’s background, it is highly likely that a morals clause, or language resembling it, would be in the actor’s written agreement.

Charlie’s pattern of alleged substance abuse creates the kind of risk from which Hollywood insurers tend to stay clear.

Sheen has now publicly admitted his substance involvement and has even boasted about the amount he is able to ingest (“seven-gram rocks”), and a court has ordered the removal of his children from the actor’s home.

With that kind of info in hand, it’s a pretty safe bet that defense lawyers for CBS and Warner Bros. are welcoming the opportunity to call the sitcom star to the witness stand.

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on landmark decisions. Hirsen is the co-founder and chief legal counsel for Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood:

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