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Charlie Sheen has filed a $100 million lawsuit against WB Studio Enterprises Inc. and Chuck Lorre Productions Inc., citing a California labor code provision rarely deployed in entertainment disputes to bring claims on behalf of the cast and crew of Two and a Half Men. Sheen, who was making about $2 million per episode on the hit show before he was fired earlier this month, claimed in a lawsuit filed on March 10 that the studio and Chuck Lorre, the executive producer, conspired to fire him so that they could focus on their other popular shows — and because of sheer animosity toward him. He seeks allegedly unpaid compensation and punitive damages. “Since Lorre has a better deal and stands to make even more money on his other current shows The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly if they flourish, Lorre has been motivated in part by his own self interest and conflict of interest to make his other shows flourish at the expense of the Series and because of his animus toward Mr. Sheen,” wrote Sheen’s lawyer, Martin Singer, of Lavely & Singer in Los Angeles. WB went along with Lorre, the “800-pound gorilla” for the studio and CBS, which broadcasts the show, Singer said. “Unfortunately, in this instance the capitulation to Lorre’s demands – fueled by Lorre’s inflated ego, laziness and ill-will toward Mr. Sheen and his perceived lifestyle – is in direct derogation of Mr. Sheen’s rights.” Singer did not return a call for comment and WB spokesman Paul McGuire declined to comment, but a lawyer for Lorre said the suit was groundless. “The allegations in the complaint against Mr. Lorre are as recklessly false and unwarranted as Mr. Sheen’s rantings in the media,” said Howard Weitzman, a partner at Los Angeles-based Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert. “These accusations are simply imaginary. This lawsuit is about a fantasy ‘lottery’ pay-day for Charlie Sheen. Chuck Lorre’s concern has been and continues to be about Mr. Sheen’s health.” The show was temporarily postponed last month after Sheen was hospitalized for what he said was hernia. In his suit, filed in Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court, Sheen said that after undergoing rehabilitation for drug addiction at his house, he arrived at work on Feb. 14 to find that no scripts were available for shooting. He later was told no episodes would be produced until after March 25. On Feb. 24, WB and CBS said in a written statement that they would discontinue production of Two and a Half Men for the rest of the season. After that, Sheen engaged in a media campaign in which he criticized Lorre and described himself as having Adonis DNA and tiger blood. WB fired Sheen on March 7. In his complaint, Sheen and the company that loans out his acting services, 9th Step Productions, purport to sue on behalf of the cast and crew under a provision of California Labor Code 2699 that allows him to assert claims on behalf of others as a “private attorney general.” The provision imposes civil penalties against employers of up to $200 per violation. He said that he intends to formally lodge a written notice with the state Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Jeffrey Spitz, a partner at Los Angeles-based Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger, who represented Sharon Stone in a breach of contract case, said the Labor Code claims aren’t part of most entertainment disputes. “Strategically, it’s an interesting move because now it’s not just Charlie Sheen and all the little people, if you will. That makes him perhaps a more sympathetic player to this drama,” he said. “What he’s purporting to do is say there’s been a Labor Code violation here as to everybody who works on this show because they improperly terminated the show. Everybody who is supposed to be working on the show has a claim for their lost wages and benefits.” The move also could boost any damages. Sheen says in the complaint that he was guaranteed to be paid for 24 episodes through the end of the 2011-12 production season, but that WB intends to pay him only for 16 episodes through the end of this season. He is suing for compensation owed him and the cast and crew for the missing eight episodes, plus punitive damages. To bolster his claim, Sheen argued that WB parent Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. agreed to extend his contract a year ago even though he was facing a possible felony conviction — far worse than the events of the past weeks, the complaint said. He alleged that WB and Lorre intended to cancel the show before Sheen launched his media blitz. “That’s clearly painting Lorre as the guy who was the aggressor, the one who fired the first shot who was harassing Sheen — and his comments were reactionary,” Spitz said. “The important part of that is it takes all the recent conduct off the table for purposes of the lawsuit.” Sheen also claimed that WB failed to accommodate his “physical and medical disabilities,” despite publicly acknowledging that he was ill. By firing him, WB retaliated and discriminated against Sheen in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. He said that he filed a charge of discrimination with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing on March 9. Sheen’s personal life still could end up damaging his case, Spitz said. Most contracts in the entertainment world have morals clauses to protect studios from the bad publicity surrounding the actors they hire, he said. “If the actor engages in conduct that brings ridicule or public disgrace, as in morals clauses, people making the show could say the publicity is too bad — this is bad publicity, it reflects badly on us that we’ll continue to employ this guy and air this show when he’s doing ‘fill in the blank,’ ” he said. “ And in Mr. Sheen’s case, there are probably a few things they could use to fill in that blank.”     Amanda Bronstad can be contacted at [email protected] .   This article has been updated to correct the California Labor Code section referenced.  

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