LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Charlie Sheen’s legal team is hoping to swiftly resolve a last-minute dispute over details of a jail work release plan that prevented the actor from reaching a plea deal with Colorado authorities on charges of assaulting his wife.
“Hopefully we will be able to work (to) fix the outstanding issues in the near future,” Yale Galanter, a lawyer for the “Two and a Half Men” star told Reuters on Tuesday.
Galanter confirmed reports that jail officials in Aspen, Colorado wanted to place more stringent rules, including a smoking ban, on Sheen’s plan to coach actors at Theater Aspen by day and return to jail by night.
Sheen, 44, a chain smoker, was expected on Monday to plead guilty to a reduced charge of assault against his wife, Brooke Mueller, in exchange for a 30-day jail term in the ski resort town.
But the case was unexpectedly postponed until July 12, potentially delaying Sheen’s availability for production in early August on the new season of his top-rated CBS comedy series.
Sheen had been expected to start his 30-day jail term on Monday and be out in time to start shooting the new series.
CBS declined to comment on Tuesday. The network in May negotiated a new contract with Sheen that made him the highest-paid actor on U.S. television, on what is the nation’s most popular comedy show.
Celebrity website TMZ.com and the Aspen Times reported that the proposed plea deal fell apart when an Aspen jail official sought to reduce the daily time Sheen would spend out of jail and at the theater.
He would also have been banned from smoking outside jail, faced a longer probation period and would be restricted in what he could eat under the more tightly-supervised release scheme.
Sheen was arrested on Christmas Day 2009 in Aspen after Mueller, his third wife, told police he had pulled a knife on her and threatened to have her killed.
The plea deal would have dropped the most serious charges against Sheen, who faced up to three years behind bars if he had been convicted on all the offenses.
Sheen, who is free on bail, left court on Monday without speaking to reporters.
The actor’s legal troubles have had little effect on his popularity. Audiences for “Two and a Half Men” have remained high and Sheen last month negotiated a deal with CBS that took his pay to a reported $1.8 million per episode.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte