Leveson missing the Sheen edge
Published 31/12/2011 | 05:00
While Hugh Grant may not have had a hit movie for some time, he certainly played a starring role in the UK's Leveson Inquiry into media standards.
The actor turned whistle-blower ignited the investigation into the press after secretly tapping a former News of the World reporter, who freely admitted to having hacked into Grant's and the phones of others celebrities.
Sienna Miller and JK Rowling joined a host of celebrities who gave evidence of how their lives were made a misery by the tabloid press and aggressive tactics of the paparazzi.
But while Leveson heard how certain elements of the media made stars' lives miserable, other celebrities managed to mess things up pretty much all by themselves. Charlie Sheen's wild antics last year (being found naked in a trashed hotel room, being just one example), paled in comparison to this year's stellar performance by the star.
Yup, the "crack-smoking, prostitute-frequenting Mr Sheen" (as the normally reserved New York Times dubbed him) created a carnival of madness when he was sacked from his sitcom role in Two and a Half Men by CBS after criticising the network and the show's creator, Chuck Lorre. Not to mention his demands for payment of $3m (€2.3m) per episode.
Sheen then embarked on an outlandish tour to denounce his employers, produce a string of bombastic soundbites and try to convince the world he was "winning".
Eventually, after no doubt realising he was in fact "losing", Sheen apologised for his erratic behaviour live on the Today Show in September.
Sheen is now planning a TV comeback with a new and aptly named sitcom Anger Management, due to hit screens in 2012.
But as no contracts have been signed and with Sheen's erratic behaviour, fans should not hold their breath just yet. But comeback or no comeback, the question remains as to just how much coke did Charlie Sheen do since last January to cause such a career meltdown. The answer is simple -- just about enough to kill Two and a Half Men.