Charlie Sheen was sent packing from Two and A Half Men because of his addiction to cocaine, and programme makers feared he might die, according to producer Chuck Lorre.
In an interview with Television Guide Magazine, Lorre, co-creator of the comedy, spoke about Sheen’s meltdown and the decision to shutter the show down earlier this year, the Telegraph reported.
Sheen, the highest paid actor on United States television at the time, was sacked in March following weeks of drug-fuelled partying, a half-hearted attempt at rehab and a series of wild public rants against Lorre and producers of the CBS network show.
Lorre claimed that the decision taken by programme makers Warner Bros and CBS was moral and not financial.
"Chose to make a moral decision as opposed to a financial one. This was not a game. This was drug addiction writ large. This was big-time cocaine, and in his own words, an Epic Drug Run that could have ended with either his death or someone else’s," he said.
Lorre also said that he and others on the show had tried to intervene for months with Sheen, but without success.
"I was so afraid my friend was going to die. When we would shoot a show on a Friday night, there was always that ‘I’ll see you Monday. I hope.’ The holidays were the worst, because those long stretches of time were the ones we feared the most," he added.
When Sheen was fired, the future of the series was in a limbo until Ashton Kutcher was hired to replace him.