Charlie Sheen sues Warner Bros. for $100 million

Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:59pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Charlie Sheen struck back on Thursday at the makers of the hit TV sitcom "Two And A Half Men," suing them for $100 million and claiming they fired him from the show after he criticized producers.

Sheen, who has been in and out of drug and alcohol rehab in the past year, sued producer Chuck Lorre and a division of the giant Warner Bros. film and television studio on behalf of himself, the cast and crew of the No. 1-rated U.S. TV comedy.

"Defendant Chuck Lorre, one of the richest men in television who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, believes himself so wealthy and powerful that he can unilaterally decide to take money away from the dedicated cast and crew," the lawsuit states.

The show employs about 200 people.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims Lorre and Warner Bros., a division of media giant Time Warner Inc, "were able to generate more than a billion dollars" from the show that was in its ninth year before the current season's remaining episodes were canceled in January.

The suit also states that Warner Bros. was "quite happy" to employ Sheen and to sign him to a new contract last year even as he faced a criminal charge of assault against his ex-wife and was in rehab for substance abuse. Sheen eventually pleaded guilty to assault and served probation.

It was only after Sheen began criticizing Lorre and Warner Bros. in public over the past several weeks, following the current season's cancellation, that Warner Bros. decided to fire the actor for what it claimed was breach of contract, the suit adds.