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Sheen opens heart to Gaybo about Charlie

MARTIN Sheen has opened up to Gay Byrne about his troubled son Charlie.

As the Two And A Half Men star continues his downward spiral, his actor father has shunned the US media and avoided the topic of his family.

But it took little convincing to pour his heart out to Gaybo on an upcoming episode of RTE's The Meaning Of Life.

The interview was recorded some time ago -- around the time that Sheen was fired from his comedy.

Martin has always been vocal about his love for Ireland -- his mother had Irish roots with her family hailing from Tipperary.

The Departed star Sheen was in Ireland at the time of his son Charlie's public sacking and he chose an Irish broadcaster for his first in-depth interview.

In the programme, Martin candidly spoke about his family, his faith and his film career -- all of which come together in his latest movie, The Way, which he made and starred in with son Emilio Estevez.

The veteran actor will tell viewers he has a first-hand insight into Charlie's problems, having nearly died from his own excesses during the filming of Apocalypse Now.

"You know, Charlie's 45 years old. He's not a kid," he previously said. "Emotionally he still is.

"When you're addicted, you don't grow emotionally. So, when you get clean and sober you're starting at the moment you started using drugs or alcohol. You're emotionally crippled.

"I know what hell he's living in. I've had psychotic episodes in public. One of them was on camera -- the opening scene of Apocalypse Now."

But his older brother Emilio recently revealed he has no idea what brought his younger brother down this route.

"We all had the same set of rules," Emilio said. "So it really gives credence to this theory that it is genetic, and that sometimes it skips either a generation or siblings. My mother doesn't drink.

"My other brother hasn't had a drink in over 10 years, my dad hasn't had a drink in 20. And I make wine."

Martin was initially vocal about his son's bizarre behaviour, but has since retreated from interviews.

However, he revealed in Dublin last month: "If he [Charlie] had cancer, how would you treat him? This disease of addiction is a form of cancer. You have to have an equal measure of concern and love."

Martin Sheen on The Meaning Of Life will air on Sunday, April 3 at 10.30pm on RTE One