Charlie Sheen says if TV show ends, "so be it"

LOS ANGELES Fri Apr 9, 2010 1:58pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Award-winning actor Charlie Sheen has broken his silence on contract renewal talks for his hit TV program, "Two and A Half Men," saying that if his role ends after the program's current season, "so be it."

Sheen, who was nominated four times for an Emmy for his role as sex-crazed bachelor Charlie Harper on the CBS show, gave a statement to People magazine on Friday in which he slammed media reports that he was demanding a higher salary.

"All of the numbers reported in the press are false. Claims from 'inside sources' regarding offers from the studio as well as my salary, on their best day, are without merit," Sheen said in the statement.

For years, "Two and A Half Men" has been among the most-watched sitcoms on U.S. television, and losing the program would be a blow to CBS's advertising revenue.

One week ago reports surfaced that Sheen, who is currently facing domestic violence charges in Colorado, was seeking as much as $1 million per episode, a substantial raise from his current level of $825,000, to continue on an eighth season.

The 44-year-old star's current contract ends after season seven, and the final show is being taped on Friday.

"If tonight's show is the end for me as Charlie Harper, so be it. Another journey has begun. I take from the experience 161 shows filled with a kaleidoscope of amazing experiences, memories, friendships and gratitude," he said.

Last December, the actor was arrested in Aspen, Colorado and later charged with assaulting and threatening his wife, Brooke Mueller. He has pleaded not guilty, and both he and Mueller have entered rehabilitation programs.

CBS is a unit of CBS Corp and Warner Bros. is a division of Time Warner Inc..

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Eric Walsh)

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