There was cocaine on his face, hands, fingertips, and chest. Blood trickled from his nose and mouth. According to a source, this is what an unresponsive Charlie Sheen looked like when paramedics arrived at his L.A. mansion around 7 a.m. January 27 in the wake of what was later determined to be a 36-hour binge with a steady stream of adult-film stars. “It was like a scene from Scarface,” says the Sheen source, adding that the house was in shambles. With the seconds ticking away, the EMTs covered Sheen’s face before carrying him out on a stretcher. “There was no time to clean him up,” says the source. “They had to get him to the hospital.” (Sheen’s rep denied the presence of cocaine.)
Living on the edge for decades had finally caught up with the troubled actor. “We received a call from his residence because Charlie was in a great deal of pain,” neighbors Paul Nassif and his wife, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Adrienne Maloof-Nassif, tell Us in a statement. In fact, despite his publicist’s insistence that Sheen merely suffered “abdominal pains,” his condition was so grim that friends and family – including ex-wife Denise Richards – rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center fearing the worst. “When Charlie’s family gathered at his bedside, they were sure it would be the last time they’d ever see him,” says the source. “Everyone thought he was going to die.”
Sheen, 45, stabilized later that afternoon, but his recovery is only just beginning. Unlike previous incidents (such as the October meltdown at NYC’s Plaza Hotel, during which he tore his suite apart while a porn star covered in a bathroom), this one will not end with TV’s highest-paid sitcom star returning to the set of CBS’ Two and a Half Men with a wink and a smile. Instead, Sheen – who says the source, was treated for dehydration, an irregular heartbeat and a stomach ulceration – is receiving at-home rehab. “CBS execs told him that he’d be fired if he didn’t get any help,” says the source. “He had zero choices.” (CBS and Warner Bros. had no comment.)
A 36-Hour Party
Sheen was on a production hiatus on the night of January 25 when he invited several escorts and adult-film stars to his mansion for some hard-core partying. “He started off with just vodka,” says an insider close to the situation. Soon, says Sheen guest Kacey Jordan, a mystery man arrived carrying a briefcase full of drugs. It contained “about five…tennis-ball-size [bags of] cocaine,” the porn star later told Good Morning America. “[Charlie] was, like, chiseling it off,” alternately snorting and smoking it.
Sheen’s other source of fun: watching and critiquing porn in his home theater with the girls. “He wanted to have sex with all of them,” says the insider of Sheen, who has been known to hire escorts since he was identified as a client of Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss in the early ‘90s. Jordan claimed Sheen asked her to move in. “He’s just like, ‘You’re the missing puzzle piece. We don’t have a blonde!’” she told TMZ. She revealed to E! News the two had “quick” sex. He rewarded her with a $30,000 check. “He’s just kinda like sitting there like, ‘Is 25 good enough?’” Jordan recalled on GMA. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah’…and he’s like, ‘We’ll make it 30!’”
The party was still in full swing when Jordan left at 3 A.M. January 27 to cash the check. (Sheen even took a call to verify it.) But the insider says the bender quickly spiraled out of control. “Charlie tried to have sex with the girls, but the cocaine inhibited his performance.” Sheen became even more incensed when porn star Gigi Rivera spurned his sexual advances. “Charlie went ballistic and began shouting,” says the insider. “One of the girls thought the yelling triggered a hernia.” A hysterical Rivera fled the house and eventually called a cab to take her home.
Call for Help
In pain, Sheen told one of his guests, known only as Stephanie, to phone Nassif, a plastic surgeon, and Maloof-Nassif for help. “Paul spoke to Charlie over the phone,” the couple tell Us. (The Sheen source adds he had slurred speech.) Stephanie dialed 911 at 6:35 A.M. and explained Sheen was having abdominal and chest pains – and identified herself as his assistant. (Nassif also called 911.)
Amid the chaos, Sheen’s women fled the scene. The girls, in various stages of undress, were rushing to get their clothes on and get into their different cars and leave, says the Sheen source. Adds the party insider, “They didn’t want to be there when the police arrived. They thought he overdosed.”
Fight for His Life
In the hospital intensive care unit, doctors first ran a series of tests and checked his white blood cell count. “Initially, it appeared he either had a stroke or a heart attack,” says the source. Despite reports that he may have had a hernia (pal Steve Brodersen told Extra that Sheen had laughed too hard at the TV), the Sheen source says he aggravated a preexisting stomach ulcer. He had his stomach pumped, then was given IV fluids to rehydrate. He regained consciousness in the early evening.
While Sheen mended, his father, The West Wing star Martin Sheen, and Charlie’s manager, Mark Burg, had a heated argument about his treatment. “Mark insisted he knew what was best for Charlie and suggested Martin was more concerned about preserving the look of the family to the outside,” says the source. “Martin accused Mark of turning Charlie into a media circus. Doctors had to tell them to settle down because it upset the patients.”
Sheen’s reaction? “Charlie got aggressive very quickly and demanded that everyone leave him alone,” says the source. “He would not listen to anyone – even after Mark begged him to get help because he had kids and hundreds of people depending on him.” (Sheen has five kids, including two with Richards and 23-month-old twin boys with ex Brooke Mueller.” “Charlie just wanted to be left alone,” says the Sheen source.
Sheen’s parents were so distressed they inquired about putting him on an involuntary “5150” hold in the hospital. Says the source, “They were certain Charlie was a danger to himself.” A conservatorship – a la Britney Spears – was also considered, “but nobody knew how to do this to a middle-aged man.” When Sheen got wind of the development, the source says, he vowed to clean up and left the hospital January 28 around 1:30 A.M. But that afternoon, he downplayed the situation in a text to RadarOnline: “I’m fine,” he wrote. “People don’t seem to get it… The guy can’t have a great time and do his job also?”
The day after Sheen’s return, his loved ones staged an intervention. “Denise begged him to go to rehab for their girls,” says the Sheen source. But the actor remained stubborn until CBS and Warner Bros. threatened to release him from his two-year contract. “They told him that if he does not go to rehab, the show’s done and he’s done,” says the source. “Things got intense.” Sheen relented, and despite reports he entered a facility, the source says he is currently undergoing an in-home rehab with a “sober coach.” (“We will support Charlie in any way we can in this journey,” his rep said in a January 31 statement.)
Meanwhile, the cast and crew of Two and a Half Men, for which Sheen makes $1.35 million an episode to play a fictional bad boy, are on a production break as they await his recovery. “Everyone on the set is over Charlie’s drama,” says a set source. “It’s been killing people to look the other way.”
Can the actor pull his co-workers – and himself – together? “In his mind, he really is the last of the Hollywood rock stars,” says the set source. “There has never been a rock bottom for him. Until now.”
CAN AT-HOME REHAB SUCCEED?
Not often, says one expert. “The programs cater to what someone wants, not what they need,” says L.A. addiction specialist Clare Waismann (who has not treated Sheen) of the typically $4,000-a-day plans. “It’s like having a 24/7 babysitter who makes sure you’re not doing drugs or drinking and that you see a therapist.” But unless Sheen makes sacrifices – e.g., leaving his cushy life behind – lasting recovery isn’t likely, she says: “He has to lose something in order to assume some responsibility for his actions.”
COSTARS: FED UP!
He is the epitome of a spoiled Hollywood brat,” gripes a set source of Charlie Sheen, whose latest saga resulted in Two and a Half Men shutting down production January 28, leaving more than 300 staffers without a paycheck. But even before the Emmy nominee’s latest incident, the source says his problems would push the limits of his castmates’ patience. “He acts as if nothing has happened. He just nudges and winks at all of us!” says the source. Adding insult to injury? For the same behavior, “any one of us would be fired in a heartbeat.”
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