Charlie Sheen on Friday filed a defamation lawsuit in Los Angeles against the National Enquirer, its parent company American Media Inc., and its editor Dylan Howard over a story which claimed the actor had raped the late Corey Haim on the set of the 1986 film Lucas.
Sheen, who denied the claims made in the story, said that Howard published it ‘because of a personal vendetta that arose after he was unable to be the first to break the story’ that he was HIV positive in late 2015, the actor’s lawyer Shane Bernard said in court docs filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In the story the tabloid ran November 8, Sheen was dubbed a ‘a twisted child molester’ and ‘ruthless adult rapist’ as it claimed he was 19 when he had sex with Haim, who was 13 at the time.
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Legal battle ahead: Charlie Sheen, 52, (L) has sued the National Enquirer, its parent company American Media Inc., and its editor Dylan Howard, 35, (R) over a story which claimed the actor had raped the late Corey Haim on the set of the 1986 film Lucas
The story quoted actor Dominick Brascia – noting that he ‘was also accused of having sex with Haim,’ and denied the allegations.
Sheen and his legal team said given allegations have also been made against Brascia, Howard and AMI ‘entertained serious doubt as to the truth of the publication and/or acted with a high degree of awareness of probably falsity’ of the story’s validity.
Sheen told the court that the story was particularly offensive as he has kids who are in their early-teens, just as Haim was during the time of the events described in the Enquirer story. He noted that Haim’s mother Judy Haim said that while he was abused as a youth, it was not by Sheen.
Judy Haim, speaking with Dr. Oz after the report was published, contested the claims about Sheen in the story, saying that she ‘would have known if anything was wrong’ because she and her son communicated about everything.
‘My kid hid nothing, he was like… transparent,’ she said. ‘He never hid anything, it’s out of character, that’s number one. When my son was 13 he’s not going to go and ask Charlie Sheen to go and sleep with him.’
On the offense: Sheen told TMZ that the story he had raped Haim in the 1980s was ‘radically groundless’ (pictured January 2017)
The mother of the late star of The Lost Boys, who died in March of 2010, told Dr. Oz that Corey was sexually abused by a grown man, but his named was bleeped out of the broadcast.
Sheen talked to TMZ Friday, saying that he had hit his ‘breaking point’ following the sordid allegations detailed in the story.
‘In my nearly 35 years as a celebrated entertainer, I have been nothing shy of a forthright, noble and valiant courier of the truth,’ the Two and a Half Men actor said. ‘Consistently admitting and owning a laundry list of shortcomings, wrongdoings and indiscretions this traveler hath traveled – however, every man has a breaking point.
‘These radically groundless and unfounded allegations end now. I now take a passionate stand against those who wish to even entertain the sick and twisted lies against me. GAME OVER.’
‘Vendetta’: Sheen said Howard, pictured in NYC last year, was angry with him over not being able to break the story about him being HIV positive in late 2015. Sheen first revealed the news of his HIV positive status to Matt Lauer on the Today show
Howard, meanwhile, has been thrust into the spotlight recently.
Howard, the top editor at National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc., who previously faced allegations of sexual misconduct at the gossip news giant, was also accused of harassing behavior at another employer, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Howard took over as the chief editor of the startup celebrity news site Celebuzz in early 2012, after a stint running American Media’s Los Angeles office that was punctuated by allegations of sexual harassment.
Questions about Howard’s behavior didn’t stop at the new job.
At Celebuzz, Howard regularly asked female employees about their sex lives, talked in the office about which of his subordinates he’d like to sleep with and once threw what was described as a ‘c— ring’ sexual aid at an employee, according to confidential documents obtained by AP and interviews with former employees. In a letter obtained by AP, a human resources specialist said an investigation concluded that Howard had violated the company’s sexual harassment policy.
After 15 months at Celebuzz, Howard left the smaller gossip publication and returned to American Media, where he is now chief content officer overseeing the National Enquirer, Us Weekly and other publications and web sites.
In a statement issued through his publicist Friday, Howard acknowledged that the top reason for his resignation from Celebuzz was the way the company handled what he called “unfounded” accusations against him.
‘There is nothing here that has any truth to it,’ he said. ‘Period.’
‘There is a fundamental difference between words and the actions of people,’ he said. ‘We have clearly lost nuance and proportionality.’