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ASPEN, Colo (Reuters) - Actor Charlie Sheen was charged on Monday with assaulting and threatening his wife Brooke Mueller in a heated Christmas Day argument.
But the couple left the court in the Colorado ski resort of Aspen hugging each other, hoping the charges will be dropped, and apparently planning to reconcile.
Sheen, 44, was arrested in the ski resort of Aspen, Colorado on December 25 after Mueller called police and told them he pulled a knife on her during an argument and threatened to have her killed. Sheen spent the day behind bars before being released on bail.
Sheen and Mueller, the actor's third wife, married in 2008 and have infant twin sons.
The star of the CBS hit comedy "Two and a Half Men," was charged with felony menacing, misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief. The menacing charge entails the alleged use of a deadly weapon in a threatening manner.
Sheen could face up to three years behind bars if convicted. He did not enter a plea and another hearing was set for March 15.
Judge James Boyd lifted a "no contact" portion of a restraining order that had barred Sheen from speaking to Mueller or having contact with her. Lawyers for both sides wanted the order lifted.
Mueller, 32, told police in December that Sheen held a knife to her throat and threatened to have her killed when she said she would divorce him and take their children.
At the time, Sheen denied brandishing the knife but admitted crumpling his wife's eyeglasses and said both of them had slapped each other's arms, according to court records.
Mueller embraced Sheen at the end of Monday's brief hearing and the pair left together.
"They hugged in the courtroom, they hugged downstairs and they are hugging in the car," Mueller's lawyer, Yale Galanter, told reporters after the hearing.
"It is Brooke's position that she would like the charges dismissed and this case to be over," he added.
Sheen's film credits include "Platoon" and "Wall Street" but he is best-known for his starring role as a womanizing bachelor on the CBS comedy "Two and a Half Men" -- which has remained one of the most popular shows on U.S. television despite the case.
His Christmas Day arrest is not the first time he has been accused of violence. He pleaded no contest to a 1997 battery charge on his then girlfriend, and his second wife, Denise Richards, obtained a restraining order against him in 2006.
Editing by Jill Serjeant and Cynthia Osterman