Marlon Brando was there before him, with reckless son Christian. Michael Douglas is going through similar stress with selfish son Cameron – but how Martin Sheen must be worrying about his out-of-control son Charlie.
Screen star Martin Sheen is 70 and still married to Janet the mother of his four children Emilio, Ramon, Carlos (Charlie) and daughter Renée. A much-acclaimed actor with many awards, a stable family man and devout catholic, Charlie’s dad nevertheless had his own periods of instability in the past. The Badlands actor battled alcoholism in his youth and won.
Martin Sheen’s alcohol problems, though, were as nothing compared to the havoc his son Charlie generates all around him and especially in his personal life. Charlie’s a riot-hose of emotional and sexual incontinence, violence and egotistical self-indulgence.
Here’s a part of the catalogue of 45-year-old Charlie Sheen’s reckless behaviour in adult life.
He had a daughter with girlfriend Paula Profit in 1984
He shot his fiancée, Kelly Preston (now John Travolta’s wife), in 1990.
Sheens subsequently married Donna Peele in 1995.
In 1995 he was named in court by brothel madame Heidi Fleiss as paying for prostitutes.
He also had relationships with porn actresses Ginger Lynn and Heather Hunter in the 1990s.
Sheen overdosed on cocaine in 1998. He had injected it. He was in violation of parole and was sent to rehab.
In 2002 Charlie married actress Denise Richards. They have two daughters, Sam and Lola Rose.
Richards filed for divorce from Sheen while pregnant with Lola. She accused him of drug and alcohol abuse and violent threats.
In 2008 Charlie married Brooke Mueller. They have twin sons, Bob and Max.
Sheen was arrested and jailed for domestic violence against Mueller on Christmas Day 2009.
In 2010 he pled guilty to assault and was sent to rehab and made to take an anger management course.
Sheen is also permanently barred from owning guns.
In October 2010 Sheen was sent to rehab yet again after the NYPD were called to The Plaza Hotel where he’d trashed his room and was found naked and drunk. Though his ex-wife Denise and his little girls Sam and Lola Rose were in an adjoining room, Charlie was with porn actress Capri Anderson, who also goes by the name Christina Walsh. Walsh declared that she would sue Sheen as he’d kept her in the hotel room against her will and menaced her.
Through all of this undignified and often illegal behaviour, Martin Sheen has voiced nothing but support for his wayward son. Not long ago he said of Charlie: “Unfortunately he fights a lot of his demons in public, so that makes it extremely uncomfortable. But he’s very courageous and he never stops trying and we never stop supporting the work he’s doing”. Martin Sheen’s loyalty is touching to see. One can imagine the pain he feels watching Charlie – the son who won’t grow up – generating one chaotic scene after another. A recent photograph showed Martin Sheen taking care of Charlie’s twin sons. His concern for his grandchildren must be every bit as acute as his worry about their father. Martin Sheen may also reflect, as Charlie is arrested over and over again for ever more sordid reasons, that his own arrests were always over matters of principle. In the past Martin Sheen was arrested, many times, while demonstrating against apartheid, racism, the plight of the homeless and nuclear testing
Charlie Sheen doesn’t even have the petulant excuse available to Christian Brando and Cameron Douglas that “dad gets all the fame, success and attention.” Christian Brando was a celebrity son who was never going to find fame through acting. Cameron Douglas, on the other hand, was given a number of acting breaks by Hollywood’s Douglas dynasty which he was simply unable to build on. Both young men were reported to have struggled with being in the shadow of their film star fathers.
Charlie Sheen, however, cannot complain that he has always been eclipsed by his father’s fame. As every Hollywood pundit is fond of reporting, Charlie Sheen is earning ridiculous amounts of money for Two and a Half Men. Though his father’s film career has had more substance, Charlie’s had some pretty good roles too and can give good performances. If he had wanted to become truly famous and feted for his acting talent, rather than notorious for his violent hell-raising behaviour, that opportunity was open to him.
It’s easy to imagine that Martin Sheen is doing all he can behind the scenes to try and guide his son, but it’s hard to see where Charlie’s lack of control and general immaturity will lead him. After his New York Plaza Hotel performance he denied, true to form, that anything was amiss, telling Radaronline that everything was “fine”.
Until Charlie Sheen can be honest with himself about the chaos spilling out of his head into his behaviour, he’s unlikely to find any stability. The words prostitute, porn, cocaine use, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, violence, arrest, criminal charges and allegations will continue to be more closely associated with his name than actor, father, son or adult. His unfortunate father, mother and siblings can do little but watch in dismay and do what they always do – quietly support the reckless chaos-generator in their midst.
** Martin Sheen is perhaps best known for his film roles in Badlands (with Sissy Spacek) and Apocalypse Now (with Dennis Hopper and Marlon Brando) as well as the TV series West Wing.**