Chuck Lorre admitted that Charlie Sheen's departure from "Two and a Half Men" in 2011 was "devastating," ending with the TV writer and producer "heartbroken and hurt." Sheen had a public meltdown last year, violently castigating Lorre, and was fired soon afterwards.
Chuck Lorre was attending the Banff World Media Festival when The New York Times TV writer Bill Carter asked the "Men" creator about the infamous incident.
"To sum it up in a word: it was heartbreaking," Lorre admitted. "The guy was my friend and colleague for eight-and-a-half years and I don't think we ever had an argument. It was an amazing machine, the show ran beautifully. We were very proud of what we were doing and it became this … thing."
"For it to end like that was devastating, just devastating. I don't know what to tell you other than I was heartbroken and hurt," the 59-year-old added.
Sheen's "Two and a Half Men" saga culminated with his firing, but the problems started well before that. His constant drug and alcohol abuse became increasingly worse, and despite Charlie's reign as one of the most watched and highest-paid actors on television, Warner Bros. studios decided to put him in rehab.
Canceling the rest of the show's eighth season only exacerbated the pressure on Sheen to get better, though, and he lashed out at Lorre. A month later, he was gone, but the show's creator discovered that his departure was a blessing in disguise.
"I'm thrilled we kept it on the air," said the TV writer. "We realized we had to put some closure on the 'Two and a Half Men' that we'd been doing for eight-and-a-half years and then begin a new series. … It was actually very exciting to do. … We were having fun."
Sheen, who will officially be making his comeback to TV with his FX show "Anger Management," acknowledged that he was a "complete screw up," and that admitting his mistakes is the only reason he's back in show business.
"I think they recognize a guy that has foundationally, a position of truth and integrity and honesty and yeah, can be a complete screw up, but acknowledges those blunders, errors, speed bumps … and be forgiven, hopefully, and then move forward and learn from it," Sheen told Access Hollywood.
The 46-year-old actor then said that the damage done was mostly to himself and his career.
"I was hurting myself, mostly. So I wasn't begging to be let back into the party covered in somebody else's blood," he said.