Why Is Charlie Sheen on Edge? 'He's Cash Poor,' Says Insider
By Rob Shuter Posted Mar 9th 2011 10:04AM
Newly out-of-work actor Charlie Sheen is making his public fight against his ex-bosses at CBS and Warner Bros. Television about defending his honor, but sources very close to the actor tell me the real reason is the guy is "cash poor" and desperately needs the money to maintain his vast, complicated estate.
"Charlie has earned an enormous amount of money with this show, but he has also spent a fortune and now finds himself in the very tricky position of being cash poor," an insider tells me. "Every penny he has is tied up in property or business dealings."
According to my source, what Charlie needs is cold hard cash and "that's why he's fighting so hard to try and get the $16 million he lost when CBS originally suspended production on the eight remaining episodes of this season."
See fans suggest who could be the next Charlie Sheen -- both on 'Two and a Half Men' and in the headlines:Beware former "overlords," Charlie intends to fight to make sure he still gets a big paycheck if the show continues without him, which seems to be the case. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Warners execs and show boss Chuck Lorre are signaling that 'Men' will likely return in the fall. (They're mum on who will replace him.)
Charlie claims to have a so-called 'Michael J. Fox Clause' in his contract, referring to the fact that Michael still earned money from 'Spin City' even after he left the show (and was replaced by Charlie Sheen). Charlie's contract with 'Two and a Half Men' is reportedly based on a similar model, which is why he hopes the show continues without him.
"Charlie wants the show to continue as long as he gets paid," a friend of actor's tells me. "He would like nothing better than to earn money to stay home while someone else does the work."
► Sources: 'Two and a Half Men' Will Carry On Without Charlie Sheen
Another interesting kink in the show's future, via THR: "Existing deals with CBS and syndicators require both Sheen's and Lorre's participation in the show, but Warners execs believe those pacts could be renegotiated if Lorre agreed to return and the right cast came together. And one thing is certain: At least the initial ratings next season would be huge."
In the meantime, the enterprising star is also busy making deals to to put "Winning" and his other catchphrases on T-shirts to capitalize on his elevated profile these days.
I've also learned that Charlie is shopping an interview for $1 million, though since he's been giving them away for free for the past week and a half it's not clear what he could say that would be worth that kind of money!
Charlie Sheen Snapshots
A hand-written note "To Ging, From one Druggie to Another. Love- C," by Charlie Sheen is inscribed on a page inside the 1991 Consumer Report, The Complete Drug Reference, a gift from Sheen to Porn star Ginger Lynn after her drug incarceration. (Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
Los Angeles Times
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