03/07/2011 AT 8:00 PM ET
What’s the opposite of a winner?
In page after page of damning language, the producers of Two of and Half Men justify firing Charlie Sheen by painting the actor as a self-destructive, sick addict who’s deteriorating mentally and physically while scorning those who have tried to help him.
In an unusually personal appeal, an attorney for Warner Bros. Television tells the actor’s lawyer in a letter that those close to the star should “focus your energies on what no one so far has been able to do: get your client the sustained, rigorous and effective treatment he so urgently needs.
“It is clear that [Sheen] has no intention of agreeing to the intensive evaluation and treatment that his condition requires,” says the letter. “It is also clear he does not believe he has a problem and that he will continue to conduct himself in a destructive manner.”
The letter was first obtained by TMZ and its authenticity was verified to PEOPLE by sources close to the show.
Letter Calls Sheen ‘Very Ill’
The 11-page letter from Warner Bros. Television counsel John Spiegel to Sheen’s lawyer Marty Singer is accompanied by 10 pages of links from PEOPLE.com and other media outlets reporting on Sheen’s recent statements and behavior. Warner Bros. Television produces Two and a Half Men, which is broadcast on CBS.
“At the outset,” begins Spiegel, “let us state the obvious: Your client has been engaged in dangerously self-destructive behavior and appears to be very ill.”
The letter goes on to describe what producers characterize as one attempt after another to help Sheen, 45, by visiting his home, reaching out to his family, giving him time off and even making a private plane available to take him to rehab after his most recent highly publicized partying ended with the actor in the hospital.
“Regrettably, Mr. Sheen failed to continue with his rehabilitation program,” says the letter. “The result has been a series of well-chronicled and increasingly erratic outbursts that have culminated with Mr. Sheen’s public tirades of the last few weeks.”
Along the way, Sheen noticeably has lost weight, missed rehearsals, flubbed his lines and made “inflammatory comments” – mostly directed at the show’s co-creator Chuck Lorre – that were “poisoning key working relationships.”
Sheen’s Lawyer Responds
The star’s behavior, characterized in the legal jargon of “felony offenses involving moral turpitude,” combined with his missed work, physical change and other alleged transgressions, forced Warner Bros. Television to fire Sheen, the letter says.
Sheen’s lawyer Singer responded by calling the termination an “absurd and ridiculous” retaliation against Sheen for daring to criticize Lorre, a powerful figure at CBS.
“We feel this is nothing more than Lorre flexing his muscles,” says Singer, “and we intend to respond accordingly.”
Additional reporting by CYNTHIA WANG, ELIZABETH LEONARD and KEN LEE
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