Charlie Sheen escalates war of words with TV bosses

Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:56pm EST
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Charlie Sheen escalated his war of words with his former "Two and A Half Men" employers on Monday, demanding a pay rise as his lawyer threatened legal action over canceled episodes of the top-rated comedy.

Sheen, whose erratic behavior has put the future of his show in jeopardy, boasted on Monday morning chat shows about his partying lifestyle and said he was tired of pretending he is not "a total frigging rock star from Mars."

Hours later, his long time Los Angeles publicist quit, saying he could no longer do his job.

"I have worked with Charlie Sheen for a long time and I care about him very much. However, at this time, I'm unable to work effectively as his publicist and have respectfully resigned," Stan Rosenfield said in a statement.

Sheen, the highest paid actor on U.S. TV, launched several expletive-filled rants last week against "Two and A Half Men" creator, Chuck Lorre, causing the CBS network and series producer Warner Bros. Television to cancel production for the rest of the season.

Sheen's attorney on Monday sent letters to CBS and Warner Bros. demanding that the actor be paid for the eight episodes that will now no longer be made, the companies said.

According to celebrity website, the letter claims that Sheen was ready and able to go back to work, and is owed payment of roughly $16 million because of the shutdown.

Sheen said in an interview aired on "Good Morning America" that he would defend himself through "violent hatred" aimed at him, and he felt let down the show was stopped.   Continued...

<p>Actor Charlie Sheen gestures towards the media as he leaves the Pitkin County Courthouse after a sentencing hearing in Aspen, Colorado August 2, 2010. REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>