The Los Angeles Police Department has hit a hurdle in its criminal investigation of troubled actor Charlie Sheen.
RadarOnline and the National Enquirer have decided not to abide by a search warrant signed by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, and are refusing to turn over an audio recording purporting to feature Sheen threatening his former fiancee, Scottine Ross, Reuters reports.
Police confirmed to TheWrap on Wednesday that a criminal investigation involving Sheen has been opened, with the LAPD’s threat management unit heading the investigation.
Enquirer editor-in-chief and RadarOnline editorial director Dylan Howard said in a statement to TheWrap that he believes the warrant is unlawful.
“We believe the search warrant is illegal and violates federal and state law prohibiting the use of search warrants against media companies who are reporting news and information,” he said.
“We do believe that a judge did issue this order against the law, and that’s why we will not be complying with its order,” Howard said in a prior interview, according to Reuters, adding that the outlets would also not be identifying their sources.
While the purported audio has not been published, both outlets have written about it. Sheen is reported to have said that he would have Ross’ “head kicked in.”
RadarOnline has named Ross as the person who reportedly recorded the threat.
The former porn star who performed under the stage name of Brett Rossi filed suit against the former “Two and a Half Men” star in December, claiming that the actor physically, psychologically and emotionally abused her, and failed to disclose his HIV status prior to having sex with her.
In response, Sheen’s legal team branded Ross an “extortionist,” adding, “Since Sheen and Rossi’s relationship ended, she has attempted to extort millions of dollars by disclosing his medical condition even though she had signed a confidentiality agreement.”