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Interview With Charlie Sheen

Aired February 28, 2011 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: The headlines after the radio call-ins, after the meltdown. Tonight, Charlie Sheen gives his first live television interview to me.

Everyone in Hollywood is asking the same thing, what is he thinking? Now Charlie Sheen tells me, in his own words, no holds barred.

This is a live edition of PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

And this was a scene just a few minutes ago. My special guest Charlie Sheen arrived here at CNN headquarters in Los Angeles. And Charlie Sheen is here with me now.

Charlie, why are you here? The vast audience is giving you a standing ovation.

CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

MORGAN: Why are you here?

SHEEN: Thank you for having me, by the way. It's really a pleasure.

MORGAN: It's my pleasure.

SHEEN: Yes, you're awesome.

MORGAN: What do you want to achieve with this interview?

SHEEN: I think you should tell them a little of the backstory about how we first met.

MORGAN: We met in the early '90s.


MORGAN: And it's in Aspen, Colorado.

SHEEN: It's a launch.

MORGAN: You were at the launch of Planet Hollywood there, the restaurant chain. And you did me a big favor. You know I remember -- everyone was trying to get an interview with you. You weren't keen to do it. Didn't have much time. SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: I asked you if you'd do it, you listened to me, you did the interview and I always appreciated it. I always said to you, I owe you one. And watching all the interviews that you've been doing in the last 48 hours --

SHEEN: Right. Just a couple.

MORGAN: And all it felt was -- yes. And I kind of felt it was all on a big, huge rollercoaster, that everything seems a little bit out of control.

SHEEN: Sure.

MORGAN: And I want to give you a platform for one hour where you could really set the record straight and perhaps in a slightly more controlled environment, I mean, get to the bottom of this incredible crisis which has unfolded with your show, CBS, and within your life.

SHEEN: Sure.

MORGAN: And, you know, I want you to say whatever you want to say. You know I just want to get to the bottom, I want to get away from the craziness.

SHEEN: Yes, of course. Yes.

MORGAN: I don't want to get --

SHEEN: I didn't bring any craziness. Don't worry.

MORGAN: Yes. I want to get a sense of what has really been going on here.

SHEEN: Sure.

MORGAN: And we'll take them in.

SHEEN: It's been a tsunami of media. And I've been riding it on a mercury surfboard. Right off the bat, sorry. But it -- no, I just -- I'm on a mission right now. It's an operation, actually, to right some terrible wrongs. Because there's been some things that have happened as a result of, you know, of rehab or crisis management and show's temporary suspension thus far.

And I just think it's important that people hear the truth and hear it from me because I'm at the dead epicenter of every single moment that's been going in this thing. Yes.

MORGAN: Here's the weird thing. In Hollywood, normally a show gets canceled or suspended.

SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: When ratings fall. SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: Or it's just not working out.

SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: In this case, you're at the top of your game. You are right now -- until a few days ago -- the highest-paid star on television in America and therefore the world. The number one. The show has been ripping up the ratings.


MORGAN: There is no sensible reason why this show has been suspended, maybe canceled.

SHEEN: Sure.

MORGAN: It's all about you and your private life. And there are two schools of thought. Half the people that I talked to say Charlie should behave better, it doesn't reflect well on him and CBS to behave in this way.

My view, for what it's worth, and I said this to you when I talked to you this morning --

SHEEN: It's worth a lot. Worth a lot.

MORGAN: My view is I think you're entitled to behave how the hell you like. As long as you don't -- in the old fashioned sense -- scare the horses and the children and you turn up to work on time, and you do your job.

SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: In a professional way, which clearly the ratings suggest you were. I don't really get what the problem has been here. What's your -- obviously I know what your view would be. But articulate why you think this is completely wrong.

SHEEN: Well, I mean, I can sort of understand why they felt like they had to intervene when they did. You know, it was -- I think it was a Tuesday, it was during a week off, and things had been a little sideways, I'll admit that.

Yes, I was running it -- burning it at both ends. And you know I'm not going to say it wasn't epic and I wasn't having a ball and all those around weren't completely enjoying the show.

And yes, we were on a rocket ship to the moon some nights, but if you -- if you do the crime, you've got to do the time. So you know if you're an amateur and you can't show up for work or hit your marks and deliver your dialogue and do comedy when you're sideways, it's a different ball game, but I am. And that's never been an issue.

So it was during a week off. They rolled in and said, OK, you've got to shut it down. I said OK, OK, I get it. You see me as being unprepared. And so --

MORGAN: Did you ever feel -- I mean, listen, you've talked this week about having benders that would put Keith Richards and Sinatra to shame, which I thought was a pretty spectacular claim, Charlie. I mean that's one hell of a bender. And --

SHEEN: Yes, thank you.

MORGAN: But again, I would reserve your right to lead your life how the hell you like. But the big question, it seems to me in terms of your contractual obligation to CBS, is did you turn up on the set late? Were you badly behaved on the set? Did you let people down? Were you unprofessional?

SHEEN: Well, yes, I was late a couple of days when we were just practicing, when it was just rehearsal. I never cost the production or the show or the studio or the network any money as far as missing a show or missing a day that was a money day.

There's two money days during the week and I've never missed one. There's a couple of days where I've had to pull the audience because of personal stuff, the divorce or divorce. And -- and so, you know, like that, but I just never really understood what the big deal about, you know, missing a day of practice.

Because I know, you know, I do 177 shows -- not to promote being on auto pilot, but, you know, some of us are better equipped to working in that head space. You know? But yes, they started -- they started -- they said I got too thin. Said I was too thin and the year before this I was a little bloated.

So I was bloated and tan, but thin and white. So I thought if I could mix maybe thin with tan that bloated and white would go away. You know? Sort of a color wheel.

MORGAN: Yes. Sort of color wheel. Perfect hybrid.

SHEEN: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: Too bloated to white (ph).

SHEEN: Yes. Skinny and tanning. Mental tanning. But anyways, so they all started -- they started putting me in a fish bowl. And every Friday night it turned into the big executive kind of in the corner hush-hush dialogue, whisper dialogue about my condition.

And it was just -- it was a really hard situation to work in, you know. I felt really kind of -- it felt kind of weird, it felt creepy, it felt like I was being, you know, it felt like an intrusion. Because I feel like when I step between the lines, that that's the time I get to be free.

You know I can do all the rehearsing, all the practicing, all that stuff and, you know, go through the motions and give them a sense of what it's going to look like. But when I get between the lines, when it's time to play ball, that's when I feel free. MORGAN: I mean you're a smart businessman.

SHEEN: I don't know about that.

MORGAN: Well, you are. You are. You make a lot of money. What was it? $1.8 million a day?

SHEEN: Doesn't mean I save any.

MORGAN: You know what?

SHEEN: Whatever.

MORGAN: You can spend it how you like, Charlie.

SHEEN: Save schmave.

MORGAN: Yes, but look, tell us some business. You understand how this works.

SHEEN: Sure.

MORGAN: I guess from CBS' point of view, the stories about your behavior.

SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: As they, you know, began to accelerate, they're getting advertisers screaming out and saying, this is not the fit we want for the show.

SHEEN: Sure. Did any advertisers actually pull off? I'm just curious. Did we actually --


MORGAN: Do you know if they did?

SHEEN: Did we lose Gillette, Target, Wal-Mart, Volvo?

MORGAN: What is the answer to that?

SHEEN: I don't know. Maybe you have the answers.

MORGAN: I don't know the answer. No. I don't know the answer.

SHEEN: I didn't do that research.

MORGAN: But did you hear that that was the case?

SHEEN: I heard threats of it, yes, which to me felt like OK, that could be real, it could be just -- you know, just an empty threat, I don't know.

MORGAN: Would you accept if that was the case? That your behavior then had to be moderated? SHEEN: Absolutely, because then it's now we're into commerce.

MORGAN: Right.

SHEEN: Now we're into the money, absolutely, yes, definitely.

MORGAN: Did anybody at CBS tell you before they suspended you? Were there repeated warnings as they're trying to suggest to people?

SHEEN: There was one.

MORGAN: But as you carried on behaving in this manner and it got into the papers, you would be in big trouble?

SHEEN: There was one, but it wasn't -- it wasn't delivered in a way that was -- that was a threat. Les Moonves came to my house and we had a very lovely chat at my kitchen table, and he said look --

MORGAN: He's the boss of CBS.

SHEEN: Yes. And he said, just try to pull it back a little bit and maybe get back below the radar. You know, and he was asking me to maybe locate a gear I haven't quite been too familiar with. You know? And I said, no problem, boss, no problem. And the thing with the hernia and whatever else, it was like the hernia heard around the world. You know? And it was a real hernia.

MORGAN: So Les Moonves, to be fair to him, he did warn you in a friendly way. Would it be fair to say you didn't heed that warning?

SHEEN: Well, my hernia didn't heed that warning.


SHEEN: I mean come on. Let's talk facts. You know?

MORGAN: You're not going to blame your hernia for all this?

SHEEN: No, no, no. I'll own that. Yes. I think -- you know, I guess I ended up in the hospital, whatever. Anyway --

MORGAN: But is it a whatever? My point, I guess, from that point of view is that giving you a warning, he's the boss of the network.

SHEEN: It's a good point. Good point.

MORGAN: And he said --

SHEEN: I'll own that. I'll own that. Sure.

MORGAN: Yes. He's got a valid point then afterwards to say, Charlie, we had that deal. You look me in the eye and you said, I'm not going to behave like this.

SHEEN: Yes, you're right. You're right. OK. So yes, so I was actually -- I was actually grateful when they came in because I had -- because it was during the week off, during the hiatus week. And you know I was actually looking forward to maybe shutting this down, maybe looking for something else. It was getting a little boring as I've said in a few of these other pieces.

I just didn't have the same feeling, the same kind of attraction that it had the previous eight months, whatever, I overshot the mark. Literally woke up and it was Christmas, what are you going to do? Didn't mind the gifts either.

So yes. And, you know, it -- it was during the week when that was sort of already -- so when they rolled in, I went, I get it, OK, I'm grateful. I can do this. But I said look, guys, here's the thing. I can't do this for too long because I will heal very fast. They're saying, well, we're talking about six weeks. I'm like, no, no, no, I'll heal in one or 10 days or whatever. And he said, OK, but we're thinking at least a month. I said whatever. That's fine.

The funny thing was they sent the -- that the Warner Jet is on the runway and you're going to Utah. And I looked at my manager, I said, hey, the first time I got the jet. Right on, guys. So I agreed to shut it down. And then as promised I healed really fast. I said, guys, I'm ready to go back to work. And --

MORGAN: And you base that healing plain on previous experience?

SHEEN: Well, yes, I mean I've been to -- you know, a veteran of these wars -- a veteran of the unspeakable at times. And so, yes, I just knew how to do it. And when I didn't know was going to happen was this epiphanies sort of reenergized awakening with a whole new set of powers, a whole new set of focus.

MORGAN: But you believe there's a slight hypocrisy here. In a sense, we're in Hollywood.

SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: If you were in a rock band in Hollywood, this kind of behavior would be not only accepted, it would be encouraged because it's part of the brand of the rock band.

SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: You know, you seem to be leading a rock star life, and if you were Keith Richards or Mick Jagger, no one would bat an eyelid.

SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: It's the fact that you're in a network show.

SHEEN: Sure.

MORGAN: Which carries with -- and do you accept it carries responsibility?

SHEEN: Absolutely. MORGAN: Which are different?

SHEEN: Absolutely it does. Yes.

MORGAN: Did you believe -- when you're being critical of yourself, Charlie, and this is I suppose a key part of this. When you look at your own behavior, do you feel slightly ashamed by some of it? Do you wish you hadn't gone down certain pathways in the last few months?

SHEEN: I think it's a waste of time, because I can't change it. You know, I tell people that are sort of, you know, glued to their past, if you can walk back there and bring me a souvenir from that moment when your father locked you in the closet, then bring it to me. Bring me the ashtray from his office with that burning (INAUDIBLE) sweet in it.

You can't, the moment's over, it doesn't exist. We've got to get into right here, right now. You know? And so --

MORGAN: If Les Moonves was sitting here.


MORGAN: Based on what you told me that he came to your house, he asked you to behave, and then you accepted, you didn't, would you apologize for not behaving after that conversation?

SHEEN: Yes, and then I would ask him, why did you lie to me about the crew in front of Mark Burg and Oren Koules, my management team?

MORGAN: What was that?

SHEEN: When I said, guys, I don't want to be gone too long, I can't be gone too long, because I'm worried about the crew. They've got families, they've got mortgages, they've got lives that are check- to-check. You know?

And he said, don't worry about the crew, you have our word. Him and his partner Bruce. You know? And then it was just until -- actually today, just a few hours ago that we caught wind that they agreed to pay the crew for four episodes. That's OK, it's a start, I'm not stopping until they give them eight. Then I'm going to work on my cast, then I'm going to finish with me.

MORGAN: Do you feel guilty about the impact this -- your particular situation has had on the rest of the crew?

SHEEN: Well, I feel guilty that the perception of it has been that I'm the guy to blame for all of it. You know? Because no one was in sober valley lodge. No body was in -- you know, in these situations or in the middle of the scenario that I was.

And nobody had the facts. And that's what I stand on. And that's what I -- that's what fuels me is -- is the truth. MORGAN: If Les Moonves tried to call you --


SHEEN: Nobody is trying to call me.

MORGAN: Nobody?

SHEEN: No one is trying to call -- in fact, we're live, right?


SHEEN: Sorry I didn't wear a suit or anything. A time issue. Yes, I would urge Les or Bruce or Chuck Laurie or anyone to call in while we're here. I mean, if, you know --


MORGAN: I mean if anyone at CBS wants to call in --

SHEEN: Chuck has not answered the questions that I asked with Jeff Rosen who's awesome, by the way. That guy. You should have him on. I don't know why but a tab of money also.

MORGAN: He's a rival. I can't do that.

SHEEN: Whatever, everybody wins.

MORGAN: Professional rivalry.

SHEEN: I know. I know. Well --

MORGAN: No, but I mean, actually, to be serious, if anybody at CBS, Les Moonves, or anybody else, is watching this, and I'd imagine they would have been made aware of it now, I would encourage them to call in because it seems to me what's broken down, as well --

SHEEN: There is no communication.

MORGAN: Exactly.

SHEEN: Yes. And this isn't about me, like until I get an apology, I'm doing -- no, until like some conversations take place that involve compensation for the eight shows that we were slated to do, because when I came back and said, guys, OK, now I'm prepared. And Les (INAUDIBLE) Mr. Challenge his clean-up hitter. And now you got your clean-up hitter and it's late August and I'm sitting on 64 bombs, and you know, 420 and you know 170 driven in.

And we're not even in the playoffs yet. You know? So I'm sitting there and the team bus is driving away, there's (INAUDIBLE) of infielders like, I've got no team to play for. You know? So I became very prepared and focused and driven and hungry and in shape and a new tattoo and like let's do this, right?

And so Chuck Laurie told me, well, there's no scripts. So I said, there's no scripts. Wait a minute, wait a minute, you're a writer, I need now cameras and a stage to act, you need, I don't know, a piece of paper and a Bic. There's no scripts. So where were the scripts going to be if in fact we hadn't shut down? This basically turned into a two-week hiatus.

MORGAN: Do you --

SHEEN: Where were the scripts? Chuck, where are the scripts --

MORGAN: Do you believe that there was a subliminal plot at CBS that they wanted to get rid of you?

SHEEN: Wow. You mean like a conspiracy?

MORGAN: Possibly.

SHEEN: Damn, we should probably go to a commercial. No, sorry.

MORGAN: I'll tell you -- actually, that's a good point.

SHEEN: I don't know.

MORGAN: Let's go to a commercial.

SHEEN: No, I don't -- I don't --


MORGAN: Let's. Let's go to a commercial.


MORGAN: Think about the answer to that question because I think it's quite interesting.

SHEEN: Right on.


MORGAN: Back now live with Charlie Sheen.

Charlie, when we went to the break, I asked you whether you thought that perhaps behind all this was some effort at CBS by the producers of the show, or maybe executives there, that had enough of all the publicity, and they were trying to get rid of you and this seemed a clever way of doing it.

SHEEN: I don't know. That's giving them a whole lot of credit, you know, that they could concoct something that diabolical. If they are, in fact, doing that, I have to tip my hat to them because it's most impressive. I don't think that's the case. I really don't.

MORGAN: Again, I would come back, it's a strange thing to do to a guy who's a star of a big show, right?

SHEEN: Well, plus it begs the question, why didn't they just replace me after season seven when I was asking for a ton of dough and say, all right, well, no, we're going to do the show, but not with you?

MORGAN: Let me ask you a direct question --

SHEEN: They had a chance to get rid of me a couple of times.

MORGAN: Yes. They did.



MORGAN: I would imagine they took that decision not to probably for commercial reasons. You're too successful for them.

SHEEN: Well, I just don't know how someone explains that to his shareholders. We're unloading the reason that the show is a hit.

MORGAN: Let me ask you a direct question. Are you under the influence right now of any substance?

SHEEN: No, nothing. I'm under the influence of -- you.

MORGAN: Often the drug --


SHEEN: You. Yes. That's right.

MORGAN: That may not be the best influence, Charlie. I'll warn you.

SHEEN: I'll take it. I'll take it. It looks pretty cool to me, you know?

MORGAN: But you took a drug test to prove that you are currently completely drug free.

SHEEN: Yes. Where are those results?

MORGAN: Guess you've got the results on you?

SHEEN: Well, yes, these days, I mean, carry the stuff with you, right?

MORGAN: And when was this taken?

SHEEN: It was taken -- when was it taken? Yesterday?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The day before.

SHEEN: The day before. Yes.

MORGAN: OK. So assuming this is accurate, which I believe it is. SHEEN: Yes.

MORGAN: This is completely clean. When was the last time you took a drug?

SHEEN: I don't know because not being, you know, held hostage by AA anymore, I don't count my days because it puts such a premium on them and you run around with your days, going, oh god, how was your day, how was your day, boom, I lost my days. And then it's like, where did my days go?

MORGAN: You said --

SHEEN: Keep coming back, keep coming back, here's your one day back. Everything's cool.

MORGAN: I'm going to come to the treatment aspect in a moment. But I'm curious, if you had your time again, would you ever get into drugs? Do you wish you never got on that step?

SHEEN: There's a couple of things I wish I hadn't started. One of them is smoking cigarettes. But now I -- you know I had a CT scan, I have the lungs of a non-smoker, which is a little bit weird, you know, two packs a day for 25 years. Of course you can't hear it in my voice or anything --


MORGAN: What about drugs and narcotics?

SHEEN: Drugs, yes. But I -- you know, I guess there is some school of thought that dictates that we are the sum total of all of our experiences. Both good or bad, win, lose, or draw. You know it's like that. So -- I don't think I would trade any of it because I'm still alive, which is pretty cool.

MORGAN: Have there been moments when you thought to yourself -- and I'm talking recently in some of these benders that you've talked about -- where you thought -- you've been hospitalized a couple of times. Where you thought I may die?

SHEEN: Probably more subconsciously, not so much at the forefront of, you know, within the scenario or whatever's taking place. Yes, it's -- of course it had crossed my mind. I'd be a liar if I sat here and said it hadn't. But not to the point where I ever felt like I was blacking out or passing out or, you know, having a giant heart pain or something like that.

But it did -- but it doesn't -- you know, I can't be in denial and say that it didn't feel that something could've gone sideways real quick.

MORGAN: I mean, addiction specialists, you've seen them all coming out in the last --

SHEEN: I've been around them for 22 years. MORGAN: Right.

SHEEN: And they've been lying to me for two decades.

MORGAN: Right. Well, I'm going to come to that. But the premise of their argument with you is that you're in some kind of denial about this. And actually you've never really stopped and thought I've got to sort myself out properly.

But if you do follow their programs --

SHEEN: Right. \

MORGAN: -- they can work.

SHEEN: Sure.

MORGAN: And lots of people would be watching this, saying, it worked for me.

SHEEN: And then I can have a life like theirs? I'm going to pass.

MORGAN: Really? Why?

SHEEN: Why? Because I'm a winner and their lives look like they're -- you know, ruled by losers. Just to put it in black and white terms. I don't want their lives, and they want mine, but they want to criticize the hell out of it. You know? And now they've run the gamut from like, OK, he's not loaded now what? Oh, he's manic.

I don't even know what that means. I guess that would imply that there's going to be a crash. I don't know when that's coming, but maybe you can cover it when it does. You know?

MORGAN: So somebody (INAUDIBLE).

SHEEN: Right.


SHEEN: Little excited. Little excited, you know?

MORGAN: Well, no.


MORGAN: Yes. There's sometimes I find it a little bit erratic. When I'm listening to you today, tonight, on this interview, I don't think you sound that crazy at all. You sound alarmingly normal, if I may use that phrase.

SHEEN: Thank you. Thank you. No, I am here. I'm right here. I'm available.

MORGAN: But somebody who, you know, knew you from the early '90s, I can't pretend I haven't watched the stories from the far and thought, I hope he's OK.


MORGAN: I hope that he's not --

SHEEN: Sure, I appreciate that. Thank you.

MORGAN: A lot of your fans would be watching this feeling the same way.

SHEEN: Sure.

MORGAN: That if -- you're on tender hooks with you all the time, that leading your life on the edge like this is a constant worry for family, for friends, for fans, isn't it?

SHEEN: I just -- I wish people would shift that focus on to themselves and their own family and their own friends and just maybe spend a little more time on their home front. And not some distant planet that is me.

And not offer opinions and judgments about a guy they don't even know. It's a guy that, you know, even if I got an interview, you know, that's Q&A, you can control it. No, you can't, man. There's bookends to tell you how you're supposed to feel before you read it and then how you're supposed to feel after you're done.

And so people don't really ever get a sense of who I am or what I am or why I am. You know?

MORGAN: Are you a happy guy?

SHEEN: Absolutely. Yes. My motto is enjoy every moment. And --

MORGAN: See, people seem to think all addicts have to be essentially unhappy people.

SHEEN: I don't believe myself to be an addict. I really don't. I think that I just ignore or smash or finally dismiss a model that I think is rooted in vintage balderdash, you know? For lack of a better word.

MORGAN: What would you call yourself if you're not an addict?

SHEEN: I mean, what's another word?

MORGAN: I mean do you think it's simply a case of you like to party? Is it as simple as that?

SHEEN: Well, no, I -- as long as I subscribe to the beliefs of others that build these models that don't really leave any room for individuality or creativity or anything that like, you know, they say you've got to surrender and you've got to get rid of your resentments, sit in a room and like be all lame, you know. I just -- I can't find a label other than just alive. There's this great quote going around, yes, I'm on a high drug, it's called Charlie Sheen. And it's like --


MORGAN: Listen, I know you well enough to know when you're joking.

SHEEN: Yes, of course.

MORGAN: And I have laughed to a lot of the things you've been saying which have enraged other people, because if you don't know you, and when I interviewed you in the '90s, you were hilarious.

SHEEN: Thank you.

MORGAN: And I took about 90 percent of what you said with what we would say in Britain was a pinch of salt.

SHEEN: There you go.

MORGAN: It was funny. And I still think that you are seeing the humor in all this whilst going through what is a pretty awful situation. And you're feeling angry, but I get the fact you still feel humor, as well. Right? Probably absurdly funny.

SHEEN: I have to. I have to and I'm trying to remind people there's a reason that I've had , like, mad success doing comedy. You know? You can't be like completely boring and asleep and do like really good comedy.

MORGAN: Do you -- if you were running a network --

SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: Let's put you on the spot for a moment. You're in charge of CBS.

SHEEN: I'm going to need your tie. I'm going to need your tie for starters. Sorry.


MORGAN: OK. We'll swap ties.

SHEEN: All right.

MORGAN: So you're running the network.

SHEEN: Right.

MORGAN: How would you have reacted to the star of your number one family comedy, which is watched by families and liked by families, behaving off-screen in the way that you've been behaving? SHEEN: Well, I mean -- if I was -- I'd first look at the writing. I look at a lot of stuff that they were already getting away with because, if anything, that's the first shot across the bow at the family aspect of it.

And I mean, there's always, you know, a pee-pee or a butt -- you know, pooh-pooh joke or a thing and I'm being like kind right now -- in ways that they make you see things or feel imagery that is -- that's just juvenile and gross. And it's not -- I don't think it comes close to -- I think it eclipses some of the stuff I'm doing out there on my most epic nights, you know?

MORGAN: And of course the irony is your character's not exactly a saint.

SHEEN: No, he's not.

MORGAN: I mean he's not.

SHEEN: He's not.

MORGAN: There's a certain brand alignment here, isn't there?

SHEEN: Right, but it's OK to smoke cigars, just not cigarettes. OK?

MORGAN: Right.

SHEEN: To drink tons of vodka, but don't go near cocaine because god forbid people --

MORGAN: OK to be a big womanizer on the show, but not in real life.

SHEEN: Right. Right. Not in real life, no. No.

MORGAN: Do you think there's a hypocrisy there?

SHEEN: I think that they in some way think that they have some magic literary influence over me by perhaps writing things and then going, oh, my god, look how powerful we are, now he's doing it. No, morons, the reason the show was created was because of the lifestyle I had and you guys based it on that.

You know it's like I gave you so much of your fodder already.

MORGAN: Let's have a little break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about the women in your life.

SHEEN: Love it.


MORGAN: Charlie Sheen is my special guest tonight.

Charlie, tell me about the women in your life. To put it mildly, your life is unconventional.

SHEEN: Pretty good word for it. I think it's just straight-out bitching. Well, there's the Natty (ph) and then there's the Rach (ph). These are the goddesses as I --

MORGAN: And what function do those goddesses perform?

SHEEN: Gosh, they -- it's -- I mean, name it. Name it.

MORGAN: You have two girlfriends, basically?

SHEEN: I do, yeah. And it's what David Moore (ph) described as the wedge.

MORGAN: The wedge?

SHEEN: The wedge, yes.

MORGAN: What's the wedge?

SHEEN: The wedge is a football term. It's a formation that controls the guy carrying the ball. My man.

MORGAN: Let me ask you -- let me play devil's advocate for a moment.

SHEEN: Sure.

MORGAN: I've got to admit that part of me when I listen to you talk, I chuckle. I don't get as incensed as other people.

SHEEN: I do too.

MORGAN: But I'm also aware -- I'm a family guy. I've got three kids. I'm also aware that --

SHEEN: I have five. Sure.

MORGAN: There's lots of people watching saying, all right, go tougher on Charlie here, because you are taking -- you have been until recently taking a lot of illegal drugs. You are on a family show. You do have a responsibility as a role model to people watching the show, especially their kids. You have your own kids. You're a dad of five kids yourself.

How far do you feel that sense of responsibility, in terms of your personal behavior?

SHEEN: Well, now -- with some distance from it, I realize its value and I plan to maintain it and protect it like a precious gem for the rest of my days.

MORGAN: Do you think you got out of control?

SHEEN: Well, yeah. I don't have another gear, you know?

MORGAN: It's as bad as you've ever been?

SHEEN: I wouldn't say it was as bad. It was as -- it was as busy as I've ever been.

MORGAN: I mean, the infamous bender that we read about a few weeks ago -- what did you actually consume in that bender? What was the Charlie Sheen bender like?

SHEEN: Which bender?

MORGAN: The one where you had five women coming to your house at 4:00 in the afternoon.

SHEEN: I didn't know there was going to be a math test. I don't think there were five. I don't think there were five. At least there weren't five doing that thing. The reason it went bad is because I don't do pills. I don't take opiates. I don't do benzos. I don't do any of that stuff, psychotropic nonsense.

MORGAN: You do take cocaine, right?

SHEEN: Well, I used to. I've got to be careful because there's lawsuits and things going on and whatever.

MORGAN: Until you stopped, you were taking a lot of cocaine.

SHEEN: Well, I'm not taking it. I had to pay for it. You know what I mean, come on.

MORGAN: What would you have taken on that particular bender?

SHEEN: Well, I hadn't done any for a while, like seven hours, but I had this hernia thing that was popping out. It might have caught a piece of the bowel, sounds gross, but that's how a doctor described it. And the pain was as though someone was driving a hot saber through my gut. And because I won't take a pain pill, because those things are like, wow -- actually, George Carlin always say, I would, you know -- I already have pain. I need an anti-pain pill.

I won't take those. So I maybe hit the vodka a little hard to reduce the pain. And then just kind of was that final push, that final drop down the falls. And then I guess I -- somebody decided to call 911. And actually they took care of that thing perfectly. It was the other voices that we hear on the tapes. Kind of got things confused.

MORGAN: When you wake up after these benders -- let's assume for argument's sake, there won't be anymore. You've decided you're going to stop.

SHEEN: Yeah.

MORGAN: With your kids in particular -- a lot of parents say to me, ask Charlie when he wakes up from these things, how do you feel about the reaction they're going to have? When they're on the playground, with their friends, all the embarrassment that comes their way?

SHEEN: It's a shame. And it's a shame that we live in an evil world like that sometimes, not always, but sometimes. That stuff I can't control. What I can control is them never being exposed to anything dangerous ever, at any point in time.

MORGAN: So you never -- you've never had any drugs in the house when your kids were around?

SHEEN: No. No. And if it was my weekend, then we would go somewhere else. And if they weren't there -- I would never -- those things don't go together, you know? But that's just common sense and courtesy, right?

MORGAN: It is. There's still -- listen. You know what people say.

SHEEN: Of course.

MORGAN: About what's been going on. A lot of people can get very moralistic about this. And I would say in your case, you know, you -- again, I come back to you're entitled to pretty much do whatever you like in your own life. It is illegal what you were doing. If you're running a big network like CBS, are you entitled to say you broke the law, therefore you're in breech of your contract?

SHEEN: Well, it's only illegal if I admit to it. And they've never once checked with me. And you've always got to consider the source. You look at some of these retarded zombies, these trolls that roll out of there and heading back for the rock to crawl back under before the sun peeks out -- and they're putting so much stock into the words and the thoughts and, as I have said, the gibberish of fools, and not checking anything with me. There's no interest in cross checking the story.

MORGAN: But you wouldn't deny taking loads of cocaine?

SHEEN: Well, no, of course not. Duh. But I'm just saying --

MORGAN: Isn't that a bit of a moot point?

SHEEN: No, I'm talking about some of the sources they put -- that's the basket they put all the eggs in. That's a weird metaphor, by the way. Wow.

MORGAN: Yeah, it is. You don't think anyone's really exaggerated the scale of it? When you say you've out-partied Keith Richards, for example, we get the general gist.

SHEEN: Well, I might have been exaggerating. I didn't have my blood all like changed. That's a gnarly move, by the way. But no, I -- I just stumbled into an area suddenly in my brain that didn't need sleep. And that was the problem. I can function without sleep. And when you can do that -- if you can get through the day, then you sort of park the night and start making plans for the night ahead. And it's just on. And things get a little bit -- you tend to overshoot the mark.

MORGAN: People who are experts of this kind of thing say that one of the reasons you've been firing off in the way you have is that it's a classic symptom of a guy who was taking a lot of drugs and then stops.

SHEEN: I'm on a pink cloud?


SHEEN: In their opinion, in their vast research, pink clouds have to go away. Can't you spin on a pink cloud your whole life, and just be super bitching and focused?

MORGAN: Do you feel now angrier now than when you were say, six seven weeks ago? Do you feel angry now?

SHEEN: No, I feel more alive. I feel more focused. I feel more energetic. My workouts are really intense. I'm in training for a movie because now I've got time to do it.

MORGAN: You're physically fit?

SHEEN: Yeah, no, I was at my high school weight of like 160. But I'm also a ball player. I need to be strong to never fail in front of my heroes, again, I did at UCLA that day. They said, oh, it's not a failure, you bounced a couple balls in front of the wall. Are you kidding me? Those same pitches are usually half way up the light tower. You know.

MORGAN: Can you get insurance for movies and stuff because of what's been going on?

SHEEN: Nobody has said that they can't. And I know that Roman Copula is about to get financing for a film we're going to do, and that David Moore and I going to do "Major League III." along with that guy right there, and Tony Tonhom (ph), and Stallone walked up in the gym the other day and said, hey, you want to do a movie. I'm like, sure. Not like what is it? Yeah, I'll do a movie with you. You're awesome. You're a rock star. You're in this hall of fame.

MORGAN: Have you had calls from people like Mel Gibson and other people who have been through similar stuff to you. What did Mel say to you?

SHEEN: He was just, you know, not calling for any advice, just like thought you might like to hear a friendly voice. He was a stone cold dude. I was really impressed. Sean was over the other night.

MORGAN: Sean Penn?

SHEEN: Sorry to out you, dude.

MORGAN: What did he say?

SHEEN: He was happy to see me. We had a few laughs. We took a photo on the couch. He was on my show, the episode that he did. He met the goddesses.

MORGAN: Do any of these guys say, come on, Charlie, enough's enough? Do any of them do that to you?

SHEEN: No. No, because they're too smart for that.

MORGAN: Oh, you mean during the party or right now?

SHEEN: No, I mean, before -- obviously, now you're off the drugs and stuff. When you were in a lot of the papers --

SHEEN: No, they wouldn't be my best friends if they didn't. Of course they were rolling through and saying, dude, you win, it's it, you're done. All right, dude, all of them, Sinatra, Richards, all of them -- he says, you win; it's over; there's nothing left. You're right, damn it, OK.

MORGAN: And when it's guy like that saying it to you, are they the people you listen to more than anybody on the outside?

SHEEN: Yeah, because they know me. They know who I am, and they have known me for a long time. And plus they've been in similar situations where you're sort of trying to balance -- not trying, balancing fame and work and, you know, all the family components and everything else that comes along with it.

MORGAN: Is it hard being the star -- the highest-paid star on American television? Does it bring a peculiar pressure? You're obviously very competitive. You say earlier you like to win. You like to be a winner.

SHEEN: Sure, yes.

MORGAN: Because you're so competitive, that pressure when you're number one to stay number one, can that in itself drive you to go and seek release, to go and want to go and have a few days getting away from it all?

SHEEN: Of course, that's I'm sure one of the elements that might drive it. But I don't think that's it entirely. For me, it got into a redundancy issue. It got into this thing about, you know, what others would call, you know, discipline, structure, focus, all that available.

It just came down to me just bored out of my fricking tree, you know. And that's why I kept giving them numbers at the seven-year mark, you know, to not come back. And they finally just said, more, more, more. And my friend, actually -- my friend Mark Holder said this is really on them. Didn't they know who they were giving all this dough to? Giving it to that guy and they thought nothing was going to change? He was joking, of course.

MORGAN: Well, there's a certain truth to that. Not that you became a party boy in the last year. You've always been a legendary Hollywood hell raiser. So giving you 1.8 million dollars a show is a bit like giving a kid who has got a sweet addiction a candy store. SHEEN: Right, you mean the whole store?

MORGAN: Pretty much. You've had the whole store.

SHEEN: Yeah, I don't know. Gosh, where do we go from here?

MORGAN: Only way is up, Charlie. I'll tell you what, we'll got to a break.

SHEEN: Right on.

MORGAN: We'll have a think about it.


MORGAN: Back now with my special live guest Charlie Sheen. Charlie, there've been reports in the papers in the last two or three years hinting at violence by you towards -- one was towards your wife. The other was toward a porn star in a hotel. Were they true? Did the drugs make you violent? Do you regret what happened on those two incidents?

SHEEN: Those are two incidents where the scoreboard doesn't lie. The Aspen thing was thrown out. The judge was like, get this guy out of my county, he brings too much press with him. And then the police report in New York just didn't reflect anything. Those are the guys that have got to report the fact. Their jobs are on the line. So I just offer people those, you know.

MORGAN: Have you ever hit a woman?

SHEEN: I have not, no. No, women are not to be hit. They're to be hugged and caressed, you know?

MORGAN: A few people that are very close to you have expressed real concern.

SHEEN: I'm sorry, there was an incident years ago, and everybody thought I hit her. I was trying to contain her. I had her arms and we both went to the ground --

MORGAN: Who was that?

SHEEN: Her initials are B.A. I'll give you that much. I don't want to make the whole thing about her. And I felt terrible. I delivered her to the plastic surgeon and tried to like -- and everybody said you hit her and I was like, no, she hit her thing. Whatever, it's over. I felt bad about that one.

MORGAN: You regret that?

SHEEN: Yeah, she was attacking me, though, with a small fork, like a cocktail fork. And I think she had it with her. That's the weird part. What was she doing with a shrimp fork in her purse? She stole it clearly from a buffet.

MORGAN: Is there ever any defense?

SHEEN: You can't. Whatever story you come up with sounds like you've made it up. So -- and that's the truth and that's what happened.

MORGAN: But you regret that incident?

SHEEN: Oh, God, yeah. Yeah. But I never really told the story about that because everybody was under a gag order or something. There were heinous things that led up to it that I was trying to fend off. Whatever. I'll own it. I remembered that when you asked. That's the only time it was presumed that I'd done so.

MORGAN: Your publicist, Stan --

SHEEN: He quit.

MORGAN: He quit today.

SHEEN: Stan, where are you? Stan, what happened.

MORGAN: I'll be honest with you. I really like Stan.

SHEEN: I do too.

MORGAN: He's a thoroughly decent guy.

SHEEN: Stan, where did you go?

MORGAN: He loves you.

SHEEN: Clearly not.

MORGAN: He felt that he couldn't control you anymore.

SHEEN: What's to control? Just get over here and enjoy the ride, bro. We're starting to win.

MORGAN: Hard for a publicist if you're acting as your own publicist.

SHEEN: I mean, I'd like to believe that the progress I've made in the last few days is a slightly better plan than some of the stuff he was rolling out with at times, you know. You know, I've -- I've been able to answer calls and deal with people directly. And I've said well, why should I talk to you? We've had a lousy relationship all these years.

And they'll say, well, we've never really spoken. And I'll say, OK, great, let's park all that and then let's say it's never too late to get a fresh start.

MORGAN: What would you say to Stan if he's watching this?

SHEEN: Get back over here and -- and stop with your silliness. I just hit Stan, not a woman. MORGAN: Yeah. The other man who is obviously very important in your life, your father, Martin Sheen, described your illness as like a cancer.

SHEEN: Dude, relax. It's so dramatic, you know. He's entitled to that. I don't support it, sorry.

MORGAN: Have you talked to your father?

SHEEN: I have not, no. This quote of his is like following me everywhere, you know?

MORGAN: You haven't discussed it with him?

SHEEN: No, I'm sure he'll hear something about it in one of these interviews. As much as I love him, I'm 45 with five kids, you know.

MORGAN: Does he not call you as a matter of course? Do you not speak to him much?

SHEEN: No, I mean -- he's been out of the country, I think. That's why he hasn't called.

MORGAN: He's your dad and you're going through this tumultuous period in your life.

SHEEN: I think people think that it's a lot harder on me than it is. I'm on a quest to claim absolute victory across the board on every front in this whole mess. I'm here to right -- as I said -- every single wrong and reveal the people that are responsible for all of this -- all of this foolishness.

MORGAN: Is your game plan to actually end up getting your job back?

SHEEN: Well, I would love that, yeah. I signed a deal for two years.

MORGAN: You said in the interview, Charlie, you were bored with it. This was one of the problems --

SHEEN: Right, there was that redundancy factor to it. But that doesn't matter. That was an old brain. I have a new brain. I have a 10,000-year-old brain and the boogers of a seven-year-old. That's how I describe myself.

MORGAN: Since you've been clean, in your head, have you thought, I've nearly lost here one of the great jobs in television.

SHEEN: Yes, pick it back up, suit up, boot up, and let's get this thing back on the air.

MORGAN: Do you have it in you to be disciplined enough now to not fall by the wayside?

SHEEN: Absolutely. I'll be waiting on them. I'll be waiting on them.

MORGAN: You said in an interview today that you wanted a pay raise.

SHEEN: No, that was stupid.

MORGAN: Were you joking?

SHEEN: No, I was joking about being underpaid. But to come back, season ten, that's all negotiable. You can't talk about it on television. Why did you? I don't know. He's on crack. Where's Dr. Drew when you need him?

MORGAN: Funny enough, we have got a clip from Dr. Drew. I did interview Dr. Drew, actually. He was quite interesting.

SHEEN: There's no way to get that time back.

MORGAN: I think a lot of these guys who are involved in treating addicts --

SHEEN: Are they addicts themselves? What are his credentials?

MORGAN: Let's take a quick listen to Dr. Drew. Let's hear what he said to me.

SHEEN: This ought to be stunning.


DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION EXPERT: Two separate conditions. There's the addiction, which gets triggered, which is the biological disorder of the brain. And there are the underlying environmental and psychological issues that push somebody over into addiction in the first place.

The issue of dealing with the so-called demons, which in my world -- I always tell people that if you have bad enough addiction you need to see me, 100 percent probability you've had childhood trauma. So we're really talking about childhood trauma. And that takes years to sort through.


MORGAN: You're not taking that very seriously.

SHEEN: Here are my notes. Please.

MORGAN: What do you think when you hear that kind of professional?

SHEEN: I think you cannot -- you cannot -- come on, man, that's ridiculous. To like have a prognosis about somebody you've never been in the same room with, based on his image in a media setting? He should be ashamed of himself. I would never sit here and tell you who the heck he is or what drives or fuels him. I don't know. Got to dismiss these clowns.

MORGAN: Have you seen the programs for alcoholism and drug addiction? Have you seen it work for friends of yours?

SHEEN: Some, yeah. But --

MORGAN: So you do accept it can work.

SHEEN: They -- what they don't tell you at the door is that they have a five percent success rate. As a retired gambler, again, 22 years around this thing. Not like I gave it a year. I gave it -- OK, that's half my life, like 48 percent. And so I just -- at some point I have to go, I'm going to try something different. How about I rely on me.

MORGAN: Going to have a break now. When we come back, I'm going to ask you how you see your future after all this gets sorted.

SHEEN: Crystal ball?



MORGAN: Back now with my special guest, Charlie Sheen. Charlie, you were saying at the break -- when I spoke briefly with Anderson Cooper, you were seeing images from Libya and everything, that you kind of feel that you being the center of the news the last few weeks is kind of crazy given what else has been going on.

SHEEN: A little bizarre. You turn on the 11:00 news and I'm the lead story, and then they get to that. I'm thinking, the world is upside down. But I guess that shows the power of the business I'm in.

MORGAN: We've been through the full range of what's been going on here. What I think is inarguable is that you clearly -- if this had been handled in a different way, I think you would have sat down and you would have expressed proper regret over some of your behavior. I get that sense from you.

MORGAN: Of course I would. There's no gratitude here. There's none. There's no gratitude whatsoever. Nobody will call me, have the decency to just call me.

MORGAN: What is the answer to where you found yourself with CBS and the show? There are millions of fans.

SHEEN: What do you mean?

MORGAN: Millions of fans just want the show back on the air. What is is the way to make that happen?

SHEEN: I don't know. But it may involve all of us getting into a room.

MORGAN: What would you say if you did? SHEEN: I would say, OK, you've agreed to pay the crew four show. You've got to pay them eight. Then you've got to pay the rest of the cast eight. Then you got to pay me eight. Then we can have a dialogue. That's just doing the right thing.

MORGAN: What would you then sign up to, in terms of personal behavior?

SHEEN: I don't -- I guess I would have to play ball on some front. But I don't feel like they still have a right to interfere in my personal life. I really don't feel like -- I don't do it in theirs. If they'll submit to all the same constraints, all the same points in that agreement, then fine, I'm on board.

But then you're start hearing stories about they're going to hire John Stamos. You guys do that, you deserve everything that happens later, you know. Sorry, John, you're a lovely man. But you got on me on Howard Stern, bro, and I don't forget anything. You know?

MORGAN: You're quite sensitive underneath the brash exterior.

SHEEN: Sensitive, yeah, when I have to be, sure. But when I'm fighting a war, there's no room for sensitivity.

MORGAN: Has any of this really upset you, properly upset you?

SHEEN: I was upset after being kind of picked on and the little bit -- the bad stuff by Chuck and Vanity Cards for eight years. And I finally fired back once. Now, my fire back was a 2,000 pound bomb and it was laser guided.

MORGAN: He's the producer of the show. He and you --

MORGAN: He took his ball and went home. One crack and took his ball and went home. Come on, if he wasn't already trying to get off the show, then I don't know what else --

MORGAN: Here's the sad news, you guys must have been very good friends at some stage.

SHEEN: Never, no, never.

MORGAN: Really?

SHEEN: No. For probably the first hour, maybe. And then it was like you must let me impose my will all over your face. I was like, wow, dude. I don't want anything that you got.

MORGAN: Do you regret making the little -- what appeared to be an anti-Semitic dig at him?

SHEEN: Yes, I do. I regret in a way that I didn't think about him. And then I should have thought about it. Stupid move. Sorry.

MORGAN: Would you say sorry to him if you had the chance? SHEEN: Of course I would. But I didn't think that was -- I thought the rules had been established. He calls me Carlos Estevez a lot, which is my real name. And then I saw the other name in his vanity card, and I said it, and the world just started burning down around me.

MORGAN: What's your biggest regret of all this?

SHEEN: That --

MORGAN: If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

SHEEN: Again, we have to go back to those moments and bring back a souvenir. You can't really change it.

MORGAN: But you can regret --

SHEEN: I don't know. Maybe I should have been a little quieter, a little softer. But look what happens when you decide to blaze a trail. You find out that those that can't stand the heat around them -- they don't really have the guts to survive, you know?

MORGAN: No one from CBS has called in in the last hour. So we --

SHEEN: How much time do we have left?

MORGAN: We gave them the opportunity. They decided not to call in.

SHEEN: I wonder why Chuck has not answered those questions that I gave to the other guy.

MORGAN: If they make contact tomorrow and say, why don't we try and all get together.

SHEEN: Right here, right here. I'm not going anywhere.

MORGAN: You would do that?

SHEEN: Yeah, I don't have a job. I could come here and color commentate for you.

MORGAN: I'd love that.

SHEEN: OK, great.

MORGAN: Come and co-host for a week, if you like.

SHEEN: Call Rick.

MORGAN: How do you hope it ends?

SHEEN: I have a vision of us getting back on the air for season nine and then doing season ten. And when we're back on the stage doing it perfectly and brilliantly, a couple adjustments will be made. We all know where we stand right now. So it can't be like, hey, good to see you again. Not. So --

MORGAN: What about your fellow cast members? Have you talked to any of them?

SHEEN: I have not, because I don't feel like there's any real support there. No one has issued a statement. They haven't made a phone call. I got a couple angry texts. Whatever. I ignore that. I'm out here doing this for all of us, guys. I'm not here trying to embarrass you or ruin your jobs or ruin the show.

MORGAN: Do they feel you've let them down?

SHEEN: I don't know. I don't know. I'd be speaking for them. It would have been nice if there was some measure of support from anybody at this point. That's all right, man. Every great movement begins with one man, and I guess that's me.

MORGAN: You're like Che Guevara of Hollywood at the moment.

SHEEN: I'll take it. I'll take it. Nice.

MORGAN: Charlie, it's been a pleasure.

SHEEN: Likewise.

MORGAN: It's been fascinating.

SHEEN: You're fabulous. Thank you.

MORGAN: I hope you come back on when it gets resolved and talk about it.

SHEEN: Absolutely. After I've won.

MORGAN: I kind of feel that TV needs you.

SHEEN: Yes, it does.

MORGAN: You're one of life's great characters.

SHEEN: Thank you.

MORGAN: And you've -- you know, you've admitted you've fallen by the wayside a little bit, but everyone's entitled to a second go.

SHEEN: There you go.

MORGAN: I wish you good luck with it.

SHEEN: Thank you, sir. Keep winning.

MORGAN: An extraordinary interview there with Charlie Sheen. I mean what I say. I hope they resolve it, and he's back on one of the best shows on TV, after all. That's all for us for now. Here's my colleague Anderson Cooper with "AC 360."