“There was 55 different ways for me to handle that situation, and I chose number 56.”
That’s how Charlie Sheen, today to Yahoo, describes how almost exactly a decade ago he spontaneously combusted on the pages of Radar with a stunning one-on-one interview that took aim at everyone from his father Martin, to Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre, and former CBS boss Les Moonves.
Recounted Sheen: “People have [said to] me, 'Hey, man, that was so cool, that was so fun to watch. That was so cool to be a part of and support and all that energy and, you know, we stuck it to the man.’
"My thought behind that is, ‘Oh, yeah, great. I’m so glad that I traded early retirement for a f*cking hashtag."
Hashtag of not, the Tinseltown train-wreck that is Sheen, 55, unloaded and took aim at his screen legend father who compared addiction to cancer.
“Jeez, dad… shut it!” Sheen, then 45, said when asked about his reaction to Martin’s recent interview in which he compared Sheen’s addiction to cancer.
“Okay, Pop walk through a cancer ward right now and find any of those mother f*ckers who look like me,” he adds, clearly agitated.
He bristled about his father’s comments: “Sounds poetic but it's rooted in bollocks.”
Sheen and his ‘Tiger Blood’ also screeched:
- There would be another season of Two and a Half Men.
- He stated unequivocally that he was not a drug addict.
- He attacked CBS and Warner Bros. for shutting down his show, citing his conduct and condition: “My conduct is b*tchin', my condition is perfect so… I don't know what they're talking about.”
- He reaffirmed that he has a show that may land on HBO, saying: “There's a couple of companies who want it badly; it's in a bidding war and of course they don't want to do anything that's going to undercut their power.”
- He insisted he was still a bankable star and said he has been deluged with offers: “The five films I've been offered in the last like 8 minutes. I could entertain the 14 book deals I've got sitting on the table. I'm not going to be sitting around.”
Of course, the only thing he got right from the aforementioned list was that there ultimately would be more Two and a Half Men — but this time it starred Ashton Kutcher, not Sheen.
The star invited Radar into his Los Angeles mansion for his first interview and accepted our challenge to prove to the world that he was not using illicit or prescription substances, taking several different types of drug tests. He passed.
He then sat for a no-questions-off-limits interview with Radar’s then Senior Executive Editor Dylan Howard, and ratcheted up his attack on show producer Chuck Lorre and CBS, calling the former a tyrant and bully while claiming the network did not protect him despite the fact it has earned a multi-billion dollar fortune from his talents.
Howard asked the star if he ever showed up for work unfit.
“Unfit is uh… unfit. I don't know, I think that would depend on how they saw me,” Sheen answered. “I never missed a mark or blew a line, I know that. I was maybe tardy a couple days but, so my plane was delayed, you know?"
Directly addressing the issue that, at the time, had all of Hollywood talking, Sheen told Howard that he did not believe he was an addict.
“No. No, I don't, because that's a word and a thing that they tried to stick on me for 22 years. 5 per cent success. 100 per cent success. Do the math. Look at the scoreboard. The numbers don't lie.”
Probed further about what he thinks addiction is, Sheen responded: “I don't know, I don't care, I just know it's not a part of my brain today.”
But the one man whom he had venom for was Lorre, the writer/director/producer who also created The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.
“Maybe if he wasn't focusing on three shows, two that suck, and one that is like everybody's favorite... he's off focusing on turds one and two, and it's like wait a minute man, we're the reason those shows exist or have an audience, we launched them,” Sheen said.
Reflecting upon the 10th anniversary, the one-time highest-paid actor on TV said “winning,” “tiger blood,” “warlock” and “Adonis DNA” have all been retired.
“I think it was drugs or the residual effects of drugs … and it was also an ocean of stress and a volcano of disdain. It was all self-generated, you know,” Sheen said of what prompted the incident.
He told Yahoo: “All I had to do was take a step back and say, ‘OK, let’s make a list. Let’s list, like, everything that’s cool in my life that’s going on right now. Let’s make a list of what’s not cool.’ You know what I’m saying? And the cool list was really full. The not cool list was, like, two things that could’ve been easily dismissed.
“I was getting loaded and my brain wasn’t working right.”
Sheen would later fall off the wagon after receiving his HIV diagnosis.
"It was to suffocate the anxiety and what my life was going to become with this condition and getting so numb I didn't think about it," he said at the time. "It was the only tool I had at the time, so I believed that would quell a lot of that angst. A lot of that fear. And it only made it worse."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.