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Matt Semino

Matt Semino

Posted: March 4, 2011 02:43 PM

Everyone now knows that Charlie Sheen has "tiger blood" pumping wildly through his veins and "Adonis DNA" mapping a destiny of immortality. Charlie, tell us something we don't know.

Despite his purported superhuman qualities, the delusional star is currently fighting to regain custody of his twin boys, facing one of the biggest personal and legal battles of his life. Punching matches against his demons of addiction or newfound enemies at CBS now look like small potatoes. Though, through his desperate attempts to become the only news, Sheen is inadvertently sowing the seeds of courtroom defeat.

Tuesday evening, the night that the embattled star was forced to surrender his sons at his posh Los Angeles mansion, was just the latest twist in Charlie Sheen's catatonic, public meltdown. This dramatic event came after Sheen's soon-to-be-ex-wife, Brooke Mueller, obtained an emergency restraining order against the sitcom legend. Mueller claims Sheen recently threatened to kill her and that she feared for her and her children's safety. In typical Charlie Sheen style, all of the brouhaha went down before the cameras, babies in tow. Thoroughly exploitative, it was bad theater that has now gone viral at the behest of this limelight loving dad.

From Piers Morgan to 20/20 to Good Morning America to The Today Show, Sheen, with guns ablaze has hijacked our televisions as a platform for his ranting. With the media attention as his narcotic, the pursuit of this publicity charade is sorely misguided, narcissistic and strategically destructive. Flouting a rock star lifestyle replete with drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution and violence, Sheen's incoherent musings are music to Mueller's attorneys' ears. Charlie Sheen is Exhibit A of the evidence, undermining any custody claim he may have hoped to have in this case.

Despite anything that Sheen may utter, there are two basic legal questions that a California family court will evaluate in the custody dispute, if it in fact ever goes to court. Were the terms of the custody agreement between Sheen and Mueller breached? What custody arrangement is in the best interest of their children?

Disturbing in its vivid detail, Brooke Mueller's sworn court statement reads like the treatment for a Lifetime Original, depicting the couple's depressing history of domestic violence and substance abuse. Her damning accusations state that Sheen took their children without her knowledge in violation of established custody arrangements, physically abused her, made death threats and lives in a manner completely unsuitable for the care of their twins.

It has become a classic, he said, she said. Sheen, who infamously assaulted Mueller on Christmas Day 2009 in Aspen with a knife to her throat, reacted quickly by taking to the tube. He vehemently denied these new claims and exposed Mueller's own continued problems with addiction, his words bordering on contempt.

In court papers, Mueller admits to her struggle against substance abuse, but notes her steadfast attempts at rehabilitation. She mentions the support of her mother in assisting with the care of her children as she moves through the rehabilitation process. Mueller also claims that Sheen has mocked and actively tried to interfere with her attempts to get sober. Sheen has publicly laughed off suggestions that he seek rehabilitation treatment.

It looks as though both pots are calling the kettles black here. There is no doubt that each parent has their share of problems. But with this set of facts and all the mudslinging between Sheen and Mueller, how would a judge likely rule in this case if it were to hit the courtroom?

The family court would either severely restrict or fully revoke Charlie Sheen's custody rights. Evidence seems to indicate that Sheen violated the terms of his child sharing arrangements and that being under Sheen's care would jeopardize the welfare of the couple's young boys. Additionally, since Sheen has been so brazen in the media about his recent drug use, a judge would also likely order him into traditional rehab and to submit to periodic drug testing in order to have unmonitored visits with his children.

There is also the slight chance a judge would decide that neither Sheen nor Mueller is capable of raising the twins given their record of substance abuse and violence together. Under that unlikely scenario, the court would appoint a relative to serve as the children's guardian. While each parent's drug and alcohol issues would certainly be relevant to the court, it is Sheen's pattern of alleged violent behavior toward Mueller and other women, including his ex-wife Denise Richards, that would really be the key factor in considering future custody.

No matter how cool Charlie Sheen thinks he is, family court is no fan of domestic violence or blatant hubris. The main topic for discussion at this juncture would be the important question of whether Charlie Sheen is actually a fit parent. A family court judge will not care whether Mr. Sheen is "special" or entitled to $3 million per episode on Two and a Half Men. Completely irrelevant.

No matter what the outcome of this custody war becomes, Charlie Sheen has willingly invited us into his raucous, reality sitcom. Whether a brilliant media manipulator, an attention-starved Hollywood prima donna, or a wild mash-up of both, millions are captivated by the train wreck. If Sheen truly wants his kids back, a genuine display of humility and remorse as well as a true commitment to getting his life under control could go a long way. It will not only help his custody case but will aid in rebuilding a shattered public image.

Ultimately, a primetime mea culpa is the only thing that can save Charlie Sheen. He should stop whining and talking utter nonsense to an unsympathetic public that has their own financial and family struggles. Instead, he needs to get a grip and use the media as well as his privileged life position to actually say and do something socially redeemable. Network after network after network, and it hasn't happened yet. Don't hold your breath.