The Biggest Skeletons In The Sheen Family Closet

The following article mentions substance abuse, domestic abuse, and allegations of sexual assault. 

Before there were the Kardashians, you could say that the Sheens were Hollywood's most famous controversial brood. The family has had a long and successful run in show business that began back in the late 1950's when patriarch, Martin Sheen, began his career as an actor. He later went on to have four children with his wife Janet, who are Emilio, Ramón, Carlos (Charlie), and Renée. While all four children have tried their hand at acting like their dad, Ramón and Renée have found success behind-the-scenes producing and writing. Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, however, went on to become just as famous as Martin, and in Charlie's case, a tabloid fixture.

When it came to his children following in his footsteps, Martin admitted to Closer Weekly, "I was so self-involved and trying to be a provider that I wasn't aware of their inclination to being actors." He didn't seem happy about it either, even telling The Los Angeles Times, "I wouldn't have inflicted show business on my children. I don't think anyone in this business that is honest about it would want their children in it."

If that sounds a bit negative, it may be because the limelight hasn't always been so kind to the Sheens. A lot of embarrassing and personal things about them that they presumably would have preferred stayed private, have made multiple headlines over the years. With so many of their secrets going public, let's break down the biggest skeletons in the Sheen family closet.

Martin Sheen regrets changing the family name

Many people may not know that Martin Sheen's real name is Ramon Estévez and that he only changed it to get acting jobs at the beginning of his career. He explained to The Guardian, "It's difficult enough trying to get started as an actor, and my name kept throwing people — they couldn't pronounce it. I thought ... 'I can't be bogged down with this name.'"

While Sheen, of course, did go on to land jobs, dropping his ancestral name may have hurt his immigrant father's feelings, especially since there was already family drama over Sheen wanting to be an actor. Sheen revealed to Closer Weekly, "He wanted me to go to college and improve my chances of making a better living than he did." Sheen added that they had gut-wrenching fights over it and detailed one in particular when they discussed him moving to New York. Sheen recalled, "He said to me, 'You want to go into the theater. You can't sing, you can't dance. You don't know what you're doing!'"

Sheen's father eventually came around but the "West Wing" star still has a major regret over changing his name. Although he never did so legally, he apparently wishes he had the courage to use it in show business and hoped his sons would too. He dished, "The only influence I had on Emilio was to keep his name," adding, "his agent was advising him to change his name to Sheen ... And I thank God he didn't."

Martin Sheen's secret drinking problem

Chances are when you think of a Sheen with a dark side, you probably think of Charlie, but his dad Martin Sheen has a shady past too. That's because Sheen used to have a secret drinking problem. He even shocked fans by revealing at the Dubai International Film Festival that his drunken breakdown in "Apocalypse Now" wasn't necessarily acting since he had been heavily drinking at the time. He dished, "I was so hopelessly drunk I couldn't stand up," adding, "I went very deep into my own personal pain and alcoholism and self-loathing."

While Sheen had tried to hide his drinking from others, his family was aware. His son, Emilio Estévez, told The Irish Examiner, "​​He was a terrible drunk ... He would get sentimental and angry. It scared all of us." However, when a friend suggested that Sheen go to AA, he initially denied he had a problem. "My drinking was a macho thing ... for me it was, 'This'll help me be a better actor,' he divulged.

Sheen admitted that having a heart attack and getting caught drunk driving were the wake up calls he needed. "We want everyone to think well of us and I was exposed," he admitted. While he's been sober for years, he told The Telegraph in 2011 that he understood Charlie Sheen's struggle with addiction. At the time, he explained, "I know what hell he's living in. I've had psychotic episodes in public. One of them was on camera."

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).

Charlie Sheen's substance abuse issues

Charlie Sheen's substance abuse issues aren't exactly a secret but he probably would have preferred that his personal struggles didn't make so many headlines. It seems that his problems began as far back as 1990, when Sheen first entered rehab for alcohol abuse. After he left, he told USA Today, "I'm going to continue ... attending 12-step meetings." He didn't stop partying though, despite saying in 1996, "there is such a thing as too much fun ...How many times can you wake up and struggle to remember your name" (via CBS News).

Things took a more serious turn in 1998 when Sheen was hospitalized for a drug overdose. His father, Martin Sheen, held a press conference, explaining, per People, "It is my hope that he will accept recovery." Sheen did get treatment but that wasn't the last time, since in 2010 he checked into rehab again. Yet, later that year, he was hospitalized after police found him intoxicated and naked at a New York hotel. He reportedly followed that up with a Las Vegas bender and another hospitalization that may have stemmed from him smoking cocaine.

While Sheen was back in rehab in 2011, he continued to act erratically afterwards, so much so that many believed he relapsed. However, he told ABC News, he wouldn't, saying, "I blinked and I cured my brain." He did admit, "I was banging seven-gram rocks and finishing them, because that's how I roll."

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).

The rumors Charlie Sheen shot Kelly Preston

There is one incident involving Charlie Sheen that has stayed pretty mysterious which was when his then-fiancé, late actor Kelly Preston, was shot. The two had been engaged in 1989, but broke up that next year after Preston suffered a gunshot wound to her arm. Because the incident happened with Sheen at his home right before they split, many believed (and still do) that Sheen shot her.

The shooting was shrouded in secrecy until Sheen finally revealed what really happened (or at least his version) during a stop on his "My Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour in 2011. Not surprisingly he didn't hold back. He recalled (via Newsweek) that they weren't even in the same room, saying, "I heard a f**king gunshot go off. I thought ... 'She killed herself and they're going to f***ing blame me.'" He continued to explain, "When she lifted my pants off the scale in the bathroom ... the tiny revolver I used to carry ... it fell out of the back jeans pocket and hit the floor and shot a bullet right between her legs," adding that she had actually got hit by shrapnel.

While Sheen has been involved in multiple domestic violence incidents over the years, Preston denied that he had shot her, confirming to TMZ that it was a freak accident. The Mirror reports that she remembered their time together fondly, too, dishing, "We were together for a year, and he wasn't drinking, and he wasn't doing drugs and there's a beautiful person in there."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Charlie Sheen's involvement with sex workers

Charlie Sheen probably wishes his next 90s scandal stayed on the down low, but unfortunately for him, it went down in Hollywood history. We're talking about the "Platoon" actor's involvement with Heidi Fleiss, aka the Hollywood madam. Back in the mid-90s, Fleiss was infamously convicted on tax evasion and money laundering charges for a sex work ring that she ran which serviced some major players in the entertainment industry.

When testifying against Fleiss, a former employee of hers revealed that one of their clients was none other than Sheen. While Sheen reportedly first admitted to it, he then tried to deny it, perhaps hoping it would stay a secret. Yet he eventually went on to testify against Fleiss in order to get immunity for his involvement. While on the stand, Sheen admitted to ordering sex workers from Fleiss over 27 times and spending at least $50,000 for "sexual services," per the Los Angeles Times. He also confirmed all the checks he gave them between 1991 and 1993. The Daily Mail reports that he tried to justify it, too, saying, "I love sex and I can afford it." 

Fleiss went on to serve prison time but she apparently had no hard feelings about Sheen testifying against her. That's because in 2015 she told the Daily Mail, "If I was with him right now I would ask him to marry me. Of course I would. I love the guy. We never had sex but I wish we had."

Charlie Sheen's HIV extortion

It seems Charlie Sheen had wanted to keep his HIV diagnosis a secret and while he shouldn't have to share any personal health information, he was apparently forced into it. The "Two and a Half Men" star revealed that he was HIV positive on the "Today" show in 2015 after being extorted by people who threatened to expose him first. He explained, "I trusted them and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful. My trust turned to their treason."

Not only did Sheen claim that he had spent over $10 million on blackmail, but he was also tired of the tabloids falsely reporting that he had AIDS and was spreading it to others. "I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me," he said. Sheen went on to clarify that he couldn't have put any of his sexual partners in danger because he had always worn condoms. He even added that he told them about his HIV status before any encounters.

Some women, however, refuted those claims like his ex, Bree Olson, who told Howard Stern that she learned about his HIV with the rest of the world. "I am so upset. He doesn't even value my life," she said. Another woman sued Sheen for exposing her to HIV without her knowledge and he settled that lawsuit for $120,000.

Denise Richards' allegations against Charlie Sheen

Denise Richards made some pretty serious allegations about Charlie Sheen after their marriage ended in 2005. The former couple had tied the knot in 2002 before Richards shockingly filed for divorce when she was six months pregnant with their second child. She later revealed on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" what drove her to that saying, "Things started to change rapidly. It was a very dark time and very toxic" She added, "I always did whatever I could to hide Charlie's behavior."

Richards didn't hide Sheen's behavior for long since in 2006 she took out a restraining order against him after she claimed he assaulted and threatened her. She didn't stop there either, considering that during their 2007 custody battle she accused him of "inappropriate behavior," per Access Hollywood. In court documents, she even pointed out, "His attraction to underage women and his sexual explicitness on the Internet, including revealing his private parts."

Their drama continued into 2016, when TMZ reported that Richards sued Sheen for evicting her and their daughters out of the home he had asked them to move into. Richards claimed in those court documents that he also sent them harassing text messages and once told their youngest daughter, "I'm going to kill you and I'm going to kill your mom," after calling her "a f***ing pig wh**e." Sheen denied those accusations on "Dr. Oz," saying, "That's not who I am. I wouldn't do that."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Charlie Sheen's toxic marriage to Brooke Mueller

Charlie Sheen's next marriage, to Brooke Mueller, may be his most damaging relationship since they lost custody of their children. Sheen had married Mueller in 2008 and they had twin boys a year later. While that should have been a happy time, there were reports that Sheen was arrested months later for threatening Mueller with a knife. They went on to divorce, with Mueller even taking a restraining order out against Sheen, before their twins were removed from his home.

It appears the twins weren't better off with Mueller though, since in 2011 she was arrested for allegedly possessing cocaine. Then in 2013, DCF removed the children from her home too, with an insider telling E! that she'd often disappear for weeks. "It's been so bad," they claimed. Mueller was able to regain custody again in 2014, but by 2016 she was back in rehab, before she and her kids were reported missing later that year.

TMZ reported that Mueller was found and hospitalized after getting into a fight with her nanny at a bar where she had brought her 7-year-old sons. At the time, Sheen said, "I'm just trying to get my kids home safe." The twins were later put into the custody of her parents when she went to rehab again in 2019. It seems Sheen had enough of Mueller at that point, telling The Blast, "Brooke is currently tucked away, (yet again!) for the umpteen billionth time, seeking the help she needs."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Charlie Sheen's abuse and rape accusations

It's safe to say Charlie Sheen's legal issues haven't helped his reputation, especially since he's been accused of hurting people. Even at the start of his career in 1995, Sheen was sued by a woman who claimed that he had hit her head multiple times after she refused his sexual advances. Then in 1997, he was actually arrested when his ex-girlfriend, Brittany Ashland, took out a lawsuit against him. She claimed that Sheen had slammed her head on his marble floor, knocking her unconscious, before he threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Sheen pleaded no-contest, telling the judge, per Los Angeles Times, "You will not see me back in this courtroom."

Of course that wasn't true, since as we already know, Sheen later got into trouble for assaulting and threatening both of his ex-wives, Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller. In 2014, his dental technician even alleged in another lawsuit that Sheen had assaulted her during an appointment, by striking her in the chest and snatching her bra.

What's more is that in 2020, Corey Feldman claimed in his documentary "My Truth: The Rape of Two Coreys," that his late friend, Corey Haim was sexually assaulted by Sheen on the set of their 1986 film, "Lucas." Feldman revealed, "He told me, 'Charlie bent me over in between two trailers ... and raped me in broad daylight.'" Sheen responded to those claims in a statement published to EW, "These sick, twisted and outlandish allegations never occurred."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Sami Sheen's claims about her abusive household

Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards' eldest daughter, Sami Sheen, spilled some of their family drama on TikTok by making some shocking allegations about her living with her mother in 2021. The then-17-year-old posted a since-deleted video of herself, writing, "1 year ago today: trapped in an abusive household, hated myself, would go days without eating or sleeping, insanely depressed." She then made a follow-up TikTok, sharing, "now: finally moved out of the hell house ... and dropped out of high school."

It was later revealed that Sami had moved in with Charlie because, like most teens, she didn't want to follow her mother's rules. Charlie was apparently thrilled with that decision, gushing through his rep, "We're having a ball. GED here we come" (via Page Six). Things changed though when Sami decided to start an OnlyFans, an adult website. Charlie didn't seem thrilled, explaining in a statement to Us Weekly, "She is 18 years old now and living with her mother. This did not occur under my roof."

While Richards was seemingly happy to have Sami home, she clapped back at Charlie, saying, "This decision wasn't based on whose house she lives in." It appeared to have all worked out though since not only did Richards join Sami on OnlyFans, but she even praised her daughter's decision on Instagram. All in all, a lot of the Sheen family secrets have hit the headlines, but that's sometimes the price you pay for fame.