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Charlie Sheen lawsuit to be heard in court

By the CNN Wire Staff
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Charlie Sheen is expected to miss the court hearing
  • The actor has sued his former employer for $100 million
  • Sheen is seeking punitive damages and recovery of unpaid wages

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Charlie Sheen's $100 million lawsuit against his former employer is scheduled to come to a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday.

But for those looking for the headline-grabbing actor, Sheen is expected to miss the hearing. His "Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour has him in Washington D.C. Tuesday night.

The lawsuit was filed in March and names Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre, the creator of "Two and a Half Men."

Sheen is seeking punitive damages and recovery of unpaid wages in the lawsuit that alleges intentional interference with contractual relations and breach of contract, among other contentions.

In addition to Sheen, 9th Step Productions -- a corporation formed by Sheen to contract out his acting services on the series -- also is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

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Warner Bros. Television fired Sheen in early March after he had gone on a two-week public rant against the show's producers.

Howard Weitzman, Lorre's attorney, has called the allegations "as recklessly false and unwarranted as Mr. Sheen's rantings in the media.

"These accusations are simply imaginary," Weitzman said in the March statement. "This lawsuit is about a fantasy 'lottery' payday for Charlie Sheen. Chuck Lorre's concern has been and continues to be about Mr. Sheen's health."

Sheen has been known for his highly publicized marital, legal and substance abuse problems as much as his acting.

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"Two and a Half Men" was put on hiatus after Sheen entered a rehabilitation program in January, and production was halted after he blasted Lorre and Alcoholics Anonymous in a February 24 radio interview.

Sheen said he is pursuing claims for the entire cast and crew to be paid for the balance of the season's 24 episodes.

In his lawsuit, the actor claims Lorre "believes himself to be so wealthy and powerful that he can unilaterally decide to take money away from the dedicated cast and crew ... in order to serve his own ego and self-interest." It claims Lorre made Sheen "the scapegoat for Lorre's own conduct."

Lorre and Warner Bros. generated more than $1 billion from his work, Sheen states. Warner Bros. capitulated to Lorre's desire to punish Sheen for critical remarks about the show's creator, the lawsuit states. Sheen contends he went on the radio only after years of Lorre disparaging him.

It also claims Lorre stands to make more money on his other shows, including "The Big Bang Theory," and wanted to make those programs flourish at the expense of "Two and a Half Men" and because of personal animus toward Sheen.

The lawsuit claims Lorre and Warner Bros. conspired to conjure up a pretext to end the series and fire the actor, "to make him their scapegoat despite the fact that Mr. Sheen was sober, and was ready, willing and able to perform."

Warner Bros. Television is owned by Time Warner Inc., the parent company of CNN.

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