Chuck Lorre Says He Thought Charlie Sheen Would Die, Tells All About Show Strife

The very public falling-out between star Charlie Sheen and producer Chuck Lorre was an integral part of the huge Sheen-related drama that culminated in his departure from the CBS hit Two and a Half Men.

The back-and-forth fighting between the two was legendary, but Lorre has spoken out about his role in the fracas and his concern for the well-being of the downwardly-spiraling actor. Lorre- who was often at the receiving end of Sheen’s vitrolic and anti-Semitic remarks on Twitter and in interviews- says an abundance of concern for Sheen is what kicked off the whole mess, and that he didn’t believe the actor would survive if he kept going the way he was going.

Lorre did an interview with TV Guide, telling the publication that he even offered to leave the show himself due to Sheen’s acrimony, and that money was only part of the reason behind the epic fallout:

“[The studio and network] chose to make a moral decision as opposed to a financial one,” Lorre says. “But people were really frightened that they were signing off on what could have had devastating consequences. 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.”

Lorre says he told the network that he’d leave to sort out the mess, if necessary, recalling that he said:

“Listen, if for some reason I’m now the Antichrist I’m happy to leave. It’s not in my interest to stop the show, and I certainly don’t want to put all these people out of work. Keep going. Get another guy. Don’t stop on my account.”

Lorre referred to the time period as a “painful year.”