I can’t sur­vive on $52,000 a month

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide - DAR­REN DEV­LYN

CHAR­LIE Sheen, who last month mar­ried Brooke Mueller, is clearly unim­pressed his for­mer wife Denise Richards is star­ring in her own re­al­ity show.

It’s be­lieved Sheen’s mates are ral­ly­ing round him as Richards en­thu­si­as­ti­cally pro­motes a show cer­tain to por­tray him in an un­favourable light.

‘‘She (Richards) gets more than enough money from Char­lie to never have to work, much less do a re­al­ity show that ex­ploits the kids,’’ an un­named friend of Sheen’s tells the New York Post.

Sheen and friends are fu­ri­ous the re­al­ity show fea­tures the ex-cou­ple’s two daugh­ters, Lola and Sam. Richards has been on the To­day show, The View and Larry King Live in the US to ex­plain she only agreed to make the show for money to sup­port her chil­dren.

But the Sheen in­sider says: ‘‘Denise gets $US52,000 ($54,000) a month tax-free in child sup­port. Most peo­ple in Amer­ica can fig­ure out how to live on that, but Denise can’t?’’

In ad­di­tion to the child sup­port, Richards got $62,000 a month (also tax-free) for two years in al­imony adding up to a whop­ping $1.49 mil­lion. Richards also gains a chunk of Sheen’s hot sit­com, Two and a Half Men, which could net her up to $26 mil­lion, the source says.

A spokesper­son for Sheen has re­leased a state­ment say­ing: ‘‘The mere fact that she con­tin­ues to pub­licly dis­cuss and ha­rass both Brooke and me (Sheen) three years af­ter our sep­a­ra­tion, which for the record is longer than the ac­tual length of the mar­riage, is be­yond des­per­ate and speaks vol­umes.’’

Sheen was once the king of Hol­ly­wood hell­rais­ers. In the late ’90s, drugs and booze put him on a seem­ingly in­ex­orable down­ward

slide. He dealt with his demons and clawed his way back into favour by scor­ing the lead role of Char­lie Harper in Two and a Half Men.

Sheen was a for­mer client of madam Heidi Fleiss, but seemed to re­dis­cover trac­tion in life when he mar­ried Richards.

By the be­gin­ning of 2005, how­ever, Sheen was play­ing sin­gle dad on and off the set of his sit­com.

The Guide caught up with Sheen on the LA set of Two and a Half Man when his re­la­tion­ship with Richards seemed be­yond re­pair. There were strict con­di­tions placed on the in­ter­view. Sheen had made it known through his pub­li­cist that a sin­gle ques­tion about Richards would re­sult in the re­porter be­ing thrown off the set.

Sheen, how­ever, nod­ded in ac­knowl­edg­ment when asked if his real life had mir­rored the ups and downs he’d faced as a bat­tling sin­gle dad on the sit­com.

He ex­plained his work had acted as a form of stress re­lief at a time when his private life was dif­fi­cult.

‘‘Fo­cus­ing on the work, you know, has helped,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m grate­ful I have work to fo­cus on be­cause a lot of peo­ple don’t.’’

Did it con­cern Sheen peo­ple would com­pare his way­ward sit­com char­ac­ter with his life away from the show?

‘‘I have to be smart enough and re­spon­si­ble enough to know that’s go­ing to be the ob­vi­ous com­par­i­son,’’ he said. ‘‘I would be a fool to think oth­er­wise. ‘‘I just fig­ured, you know, the pro­ducer wants to hire a guy who knows some­thing about that bach­e­lor arena. You don’t call a plum­ber to fix your car. Look, I don’t laugh at the mis­for­tune of oth­ers. I’ve al­ways been able to laugh at the mis­for­tune of my­self.’’

Telling:

Char­lie Sheen’s ex-wife Denise Richards is in­ter­viewed on the To­day show. Pic­ture: AP

Happy now: Sheen and Brooke Mueller, who he mar­ried last month. Pic­ture: AFP

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