The Ups And Downs Of Charlie Sheen's Relationship With Chuck Lorre

Starting in 2003, Charlie Sheen and Chuck Lorre enjoyed an epic creative partnership with the TV series "Two and a Half Men." Created and written by Lorre, Sheen starred in 178 episodes in his role of jingle writer Charlie Harper. Over the years, the two men experienced a turbulent relationship, with the first major downturn starting six years later.

By the end of 2009 and throughout 2010, Sheen was dealing with personal crises, including allegations of domestic violence, drug abuse, and legal trouble, all of which impacted his bond with Lorre. By 2011, "Two and a Half Men" paused production during its eighth season so Sheen could get addiction treatment.  As Sheen's friend and colleague, Lorre was particularly concerned. "I was so afraid my friend was going to die," Lorre informed TV Guide in December 2011 (via TV Week). "This was big-time cocaine, and in his own words, an 'epic drug run' that could have ended with either his death or someone else's."

In addition, Lorre was angry at Sheen's behavior. In February 2011, the showrunner vented his feelings in the vanity card at the end of "Two and a Half Men." Lorre touted his commitment to his health and, in veiled references to Sheen's struggles, he highlighted his abstinence from drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous behavior. Loree then wrote (via The Hollywood Reporter), "If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I'm gonna be really pissed." After the broadcast, Sheen decided it was his turn to strike back at Lorre.

Charlie Sheen made nasty comments about Chuck Lorre then reversed his position in 2018

In February 2011, Chuck Lorre's vanity card appeared on the final new "Two and a Half Men" episode that was recorded before the show paused production for Charlie Sheen's addiction treatment. Sheen was pursuing rehab from home,  and just over a week after the broadcast, Sheen retaliated in a radio interview, calling him "clown" and "charlatan" (via The Hollywood Reporter). Sheen doesn't use his real name professionally, and when he used Lorre's given surname — Levine — paired with the Hebrew name Chaim rather than his legal birth name, Charles, his behavior was deemed antisemitic. As HuffPost explained, "Using the wrong name is a way at jabbing at his religious background."

Sheen continued hurling insults at Lorre in other interviews, and in March 2011, he was fired from the show. Days later, Sheen sued Lorre and Warner Bros. for $100 million, claiming that Lorre and the studio were penalizing him for his outspoken comments. It took six months before the lawsuit was settled out of court. However, the legal settlement did not quench Sheen's anger. In 2017, he appeared Australia's "The Kyle and Jackie O Show" radio program and unleashed a string of profanity, saying, "The most ridiculous impostor, Chuck Lorre ... Suck my f***ing butt."

By 2018, however, Sheen's perspective had dramatically shifted. The actor reappeared on Kyle and Jackie O's show, complimenting Lorre's TV talents. Sheen also expressed a desire to repair their relationship. "He lives close by, I could easily go by and just drop a note under his door with my phone number, which I should, and I will," Sheen informed Australia's "Today" show.

Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen reunited on Bookie

Chuck Lorre himself has also dealt with addiction. He was 13 years sober when Charlie Sheen referenced Lorre's struggles during his angry interviews. "That broke my heart," Lorre admitted to TV Guide in December 2011 (via TV Week). The creator and writer was saddened when he recalled their previous closeness in tough times, like when Max and Bob, Sheen's twin sons, were born seven weeks premature in March 2009. 

In 2023, Lorre and Sheen mended their relationship when Lorre approached Sheen to act on his show "Bookie." Lore had worked to put their feud behind him, and he discovered Sheen had done the same. "That friendship just suddenly seemed to be there again," Lorre explained to Variety. "It was healing." After Sheen participated in a table read, he and Lorre embraced.

As a further sign their relationship has been repaired, Lorre was receptive to Sheen's suggestions towards modifying the script. In a bid to move on from his own past, the actor requested his character visit a rehab facility to run a poker game, rather than running the game as a patient.  In contrast, when Lorre asked Sheen to participate in 2015's finale of "Two and a Half Men," he wanted Sheen to perform a tirade about drug abuse – something eerily similar to his own difficulties in 2011. Sheen wanted to do something that could segue into a spin-off opportunity. Due to their creative impasse, the actor didn't do the finale.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).