Troubled actor Charlie Sheen was dealt a legal setback Wednesday when a judge in a Santa Monica court ruled that his needs to be decided by an arbirator, not a jury.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan Goodman said the actor is bound by an arbitration clause contained in his contract with the TV show Two and a Half Men. Lawyers for show co-creator/producer Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros. had previously argued the same: that Sheen's contract requires the issue to be dealt with through private arbitration. Sheen attorney Marty Singer had said the matter should go to trial.
Sheen's request is "clearly and unmistakably required to be referred to an arbitrator for determination," Goodman said.
On Wednesday, Warner Bros. lawyer Howard Weitzman agreed, saying the court "made the appropriate ruling in denying Mr. Sheen's request to stay the arbitration in referring his lawsuit against Warner Bros. and Chuck Lorre to arbitration as his contract calls for. This matter will now proceed in an orderly fashion as the parties agreed to."
In the suit, which Sheen filed Mar. 10 against Lorre and the production company, he alleges that he was wrongfully terminated from the show. He is seeking unpaid wages and millions in compensatory damages.
The troubled actor was fired from Two and a Half Men in early March after a series of strange incidents that have been covered heavily by the media. Production on the CBS show was suspended earlier this year after Sheen was hospitalized and entered rehab.
"After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen's services on Two and a Half Men effective immediately," the production company said in a statement issued after the firing.
He has since been replaced on the show by Ashton Kutcher.
Sheen has publicly criticized Warner Bros. and Lorre, who co-created the show in 2003.
“Where ya hiding, silly clown?" Sheen said in a UStream video. "Behind your narcissism, your greed, your hatred of yourself or women? … Think of me often, loser, during your most quiet moments. All alone in the world, staring into the mirror, your least favorite activity. Think of me as you pray to the silly God of [Alcoholics Anonymous]."
City News Service contributed to this report.