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Charlie Sheen Backs Down From Demand for $3M an Episode

Sheen changes his mind about salary demand soon after making it

Update, 7:20 a.m.

Hours after demanding $3 million an episode to return to "Two and a Half Men," Charlie Sheen backed off.

"That was stupid," Sheen said on "Piers Morgan Live."

Sheen called for $3 million in an interview recorded over the weekend that aired Monday on NBC's "Today." But it took him only until the interview Monday night on "Live" for the TV's highest-paid actor to change his mind.

Also during the interview, Sheen challenged the show's creator to call him. The challenge to Chuck Lorre on "Piers Morgan Live" came on a day in which Sheen's attorney demanded he be paid for eight cancelled episodes (about $16 million) and Warner Bros. TV announced that the show's crew would be paid for four of the episodes. 

Sheen urged "Two and a Half Men" producer Chuck Lorre — with whom he's been engaged in a war of words — to "call in while I'm here." He said that Lorre hasn't "answered any of the questions" he has raised and that there's "been no communication," between them.

Lorre took a pass.

A thin-looking Sheen said he was ready to go back to work soon after the show shut down Jan. 28 to accomodate his announcement that he was underdoing rehab. But he claimed that Lorre told him that there were no scripts.

He also accused his "Two and a Half Men" bosses of hypocrisy for mining his lifestyle for material for the show: "The reason the show was created was because of the lifestyle I had … I gave them enough fodder already."

In a letter Monday to Warner Bros. TV, which produces the show, Sheen's lawyer, Marty Singer, accused the company of shutting down production because Sheen had criticized his boss.

Sheen, repeating assertions that he has made a quick recovery from drugs and alcohol, said that a recent hospitalization was for valid medical reasons: "My hernia was real," he told Morgan. He also said he received a visit around that time — which also coincided with a long bender — from CBS President Les Moonves.

"Les Moonves came to my house," Sheen said of the late-January, "and asked me to bring it back in gear."

Sheen admitted, as he has before, to using cocaine, but said he didn't "take" cocaine: "I had to pay for it."

Sheen maintained that he meticulously kept his partying away from his children, and said he's had several movie offers in recent days.

He also denied wrongdoing toward soon-to-be ex-wife Brooke Mueller and porn star Capri Anderson. Sheen was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse on Mueller on Christmas Day in 2009, and Anderson said he put his hands around her neck last year during a meltdown in a New York hotel room. Mueller later declined to testify.

"Those are two incidents where the scoreboard doesn't lie," Sheen said, but it was unclear what he meant: Though no charges have been filed involving Anderson, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor third-degree assault on Mueller and received a sentence in August that included 30 days in rehab.

Asked by Morgan if he'd ever hit a woman, Sheen responded, "I have not; they're meant to be hugged and caressed … There was an incident years and years ago, where people thought I hit a woman, but I was trying to constrain her … she was attacking me with a small fork, like a shrimp fork."

Previously …

As Charlie Sheen demands that his "Two and a Half Men" bosses pay him for the episodes it cancelled, the studio has agreed to pay many of the other people out of work because of the show's shutdown.

Warner Bros. TV confirmed a TMZ report Monday that the crew of the show — which numbers more than 100 — will be paid for the remainder of the season. The news came soon after Sheen's attorney demanded in writing that the show's producers pay Sheen for the episodes it cancelled because of its troubles with him.  

Warner Bros. TV, which produces the show, confirmed receiving the letter, which was obtained and posted by Radar. Sheen's attorney, Marty Singer, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

WBTV and CBS canned four episodes after Sheen announced he was entering rehab on Jan. 28, and cancelled the remaining four last week after a series of radio rants. In one of them, Sheen ripped his boss, "Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre, and addressed him as "Chaim Levine." (Lorre was born Charles Levine and "Chaim" is a Hebrew equivalent of "Charles.")

Sheen's attorney repeated his client's recent statements that he is sober and ready to work — and that Lorre is to blame for the halt in production.

Also read: Charlier Sheen Tells Father to 'Shut It'

"It is clear that you cancelled the series not because of my client's condition, but in retaliation for your show runner being criticized," Singer wrote. He said the show had employed a double standard by not punishing Lorre for a series of "harassing statements" posted on vanity cards displayed at the end of his shows.

In one of them, Lorre said he would be "pissed" if Sheen outlives him, given his own healthy lifestyle.

Sheen's payment for the cancelled episodes would come to about $16 million. Though Sheen has argued for weeks that he is ready to shoot, on Monday he added a new wrinkle: A demand that the show pay him $3 million an episode, up from the $1.8 million that already makes him the highest-paid actor on television.

Also Monday, Sheen's long-suffering publicist resigned just hours after Sheen gave a round of interviews in which he made the $3 million demand, vowed to sue the sitcom, and sarcastically apologized to Lorre.

"I have worked with Charlie Sheen for a long time and I care about him very much," said Stan Rosenfield, who delivered the perfectly reasonable explanations for the actor's increasingly bizarre behavior. "However, at this time, I’m unable to work effectively as his publicist and have respectfully resigned."

Also read: Can CBS, Warner Bros. TV Afford to Let 'Two and a Half Men' Die?

One of Sheen's fellow stars on CBS's Monday-night comedy block also distanced himself from Sheen: "Charie Sheen's done lost his crackers," tweeted "How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris, who added the hashtag "teamcbs."

Sheen demanded the raise during an interview Monday on NBC's "Today."

"It's three mill an episode. Take it or leave it," he said.

Sheen said he is underpaid compared to his bosses. The show is on track to be worth $1 billion for Warner Bros. TV, which produces it, according to the studio.

"I'm underpaid right now. Compared to the money they're making, yeah. It's ridiculous," Sheen said.

"I'm tired of pretending like I'm not special. I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching a total freakin' rock star from Mars," he added. "And uh, people can't figure me out, they can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process me with a normal brain."

He said CBS owes him an apology: "A big one. While licking my feet."

"Everybody thinks I should be begging for my job back, and I just want to forewarn them that it's gonna be everybody else that's going to be begging me for their job back," Sheen said.

In an ABC interview, set to air in full on "20/20" Tuesday but aired in part on "Good Morning America," Sheen said he plans to sue the CBS sitcom, but didn't give an exact dollar figure.

He also apologized — sarcastically — for addresssing his boss by his Hebrew name. The Anti-Defamation League said referring to Lorre as "Chaim Levine" in the context of an angry tirade could be considered "borderline anti-Semitic."

Sheen insulted Lorre again while making the apology.

"I would say, um, I'm sorry if I offended you, I didn't know you were such a — I didn't know you were so sensitive. Sorry if I offended you. After you whaling on me for eight years I thought I could take a few shots back," Sheen said, lighting a cigarette. "I didn't know you were going to take your little ball and go home and punish everyone in the process."

ABC said Sheen passed a drug test on his urine when a news crew visited his home Saturday.

Radar's Dylan Howard, who also interviewed Sheen over the weekend, unveiled the results of a more comprehensive blood test on "Good Morning America" Monday, and that test also concluded he was clean. The tests mean Sheen has not done drugs in at least 72 hours, Howard said.

Sheen said in the ABC interview he last did drugs a month or six weeks ago and didn't remember how much he had taken: "I probably took more than anyone could survive … I was banging seven-gram rocks and finishing them because that's how I roll. I have one speed, I have one gear: Go. … I got tiger blood, man."

He also said, "I am on a drug, it's called Charlie Sheen," and said that Mel Gibson, Sean Penn and Colin Farrell are among those who have reached out to him.

Asked on "Today" if he has ever shown up on the set drunk or high, he said he's been "a little bit sideways… but never loaded, never drunk, nothing on the set, no. When I step between the lines it's on. And I'm there to show others how it's done. It's not really rocket science."

He said in the interview that he stopped abusing drugs and alcohol with "the power of my mind."

He also continued the complaints about Alcoholic Anonymous he aired last week in a rant in which he also took on The Bible, ex-wife Brooke Mueller, and Thomas Jefferson. Asked if he did drugs and alcohol because he was bored, he explained that he did them "because they work."

Sheen said they "change the way you see things, change the way you feel. And yeah, when you're a little bored with the redundancy of certain aspects of your life, yeah, I think that's why people do them."

He decided to quit, he said, because "the choices I was making were not leading to the results that I wanted. So I woke up and said, 'Dude, you're 45 years old with five kids. Let's do something different. Because this thing is boring."

He explained that the "in-home rehab" he started Jan. 28 included converting his home into a "crisis management center that we labeled the Sober Valley Lodge." He said he couldn't call it rehab because he didn't have a license to operate a rehab center.