Domestic Abuse – Celebrity Style

by Diane Dimond on February 15, 2010

The Face of Domestic Abuse?

The Face of Domestic Abuse?

Inside a cozy courtroom in Aspen, Colorado this week I came face to face with Carlos Irwin Estevez as he appeared to face multiple domestic abuse charges. I said hello. He remained silent.

This is a man whose past is littered with complaints from the women in his life. One of his ex-wives alleges he became absorbed in pornography, abused alcohol and street drugs and threatened her safety. Several of his past female companions worked in the porn industry and he once shot a girlfriend in the arm. He’s been in and out of rehab for cocaine abuse and court ordered probation violations but still he keeps popping up on law enforcement’s radar. So far he’s avoided prison time.

On this day Estevez was dressed in somber black, including his skinny tie and horn-rimmed glasses. He was memorable for what he wasn’t wearing. He’d left his trademark smirk and cocky bad boy attitude back home in Los Angeles where he makes a multi-million dollar living as an actor….

Sheen and wife #3, Brooke Mueller

Sheen and wife #3, Brooke Mueller

You probably know him as Charlie Sheen.

Estevez aka Sheen came to court surrounded by an entourage of high priced lawyers and PR types. He looked focused on the task at hand, (learning the exact charges to be filed against him) tense and uncharacteristically unsure of himself. He looked like a man who realized the serious nature of what had brought him there. Namely, the Christmas day 911 phone call his wife Brooke had made to police claiming he’d held her at knife point and violently threatened her life. Police said alcohol fueled the fight and Sheen spent Christmas night in jail.

The District Attorney, Arnold Mordkin, made it clear that no one, not even a celebrity, comes to Aspen and assaults their spouse.

As I watched Sheen at the defendant’s table I noticed he never looked around at his wife, Brooke, and her parents ab

Domestic Abuse Scars Forever

Domestic Abuse Scars Forever

sitting in the front row of the spectator’s section. Maybe he was too ashamed. Or maybe he looked at this as another appearance he had to get through, a role he had to temporarily assume to get on with his life back in Hollywood, unscathed. She was there to underscore her desire to take Sheen back.

So many men – and some women – who come to court on domestic violence charges don’t get it. The abuser often abelieves the victim somehow deserved it. They kid themselves into thinking they were justifiably provoked into hitting, choking or threatening their partner with a weapon. And, it’s not unusual for the victim to mistakenly believe they were at fault. Some decide they don’t want to press charges, choosing instead to try for reconciliation.

For prosecutors none of this matters. Their job is to keep the public safe from dangerous people and it is the state that brings a criminal case against the abuser, not the battered spouse.

Elyse & Yale Galanter Outside Aspen Court

Elyse & Yale Galanter Outside Aspen Court

Through her attorney, Yale Galanter, Mrs. Sheen made it clear to the court she didn’t feel the need to be protected from her husband any longer and she wanted to reconcile. But her damning 911 call remains as powerful evidence as the actor heads for a trial later this year.

Judge James Boyd warned the actor to stay completely away from guns, alcohol and needless prescription medications. Sheen’s attorney mentioned some vague counseling his client had sought. And then the protective order was officially lifted. This is what often happens when a wife swears she thinks everything will be okay.

As the Sheen’s court session ended and the protective order keeping Charlie away from his wife was lifted, he made a serious bee-line for her. Staring intently at her he crossed the room for all the reporters to see and embraced Brooke for the favor she’d just done him. Did he really mean it or was it all part of the act designed to make sure the network didn’t pull the plug on his livelihood?

In the end, the couple left court together and flew back to Los Angeles to be reunited as a family with their infant twin boys.

Watching them walk out to their waiting limousines I wondered about their future. Like so many once warring couple’s they seemed serious about making a go of their marriage. But both of the Sheen’s pasts seem to make their futures uncertain. She is also reported to have had a history of substance abuse. Maybe they’re simply made for each other, two of a kind, peas-in-a-pod who share similar addictions.

I’m a firm believer in letting adults make their own choices in life – even if they are bad choices – as long as no one else gets hurt. But in this case, as with so many others, there are vulnerable children to consider.  Anyone out there absolutely sure Brooke Mueller Sheen is taking the right step for her children’s welfare?

It’s a teachable moment for other women in similar situations. Are they listening?


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane February 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm

ABQ Journal Reader Maggie writes:


I read your article in the Albuquerque Journal today. Your analysis was spot-on and I hope women that are in this terrible situation can read and learn from it.

What puzzles me is the lack of outrage from the Hollywood community and the public in general. There has been no outrage about this horrible event, no call for Sheen to be fired from his sitcom, no talk from CBS that they will fire him, which should absolutely happen. But, of course, he is the moneymaker for the show, so he can do what he wants. What a shame. For my part, I can’t watch Two and A Half Men anymore.

My father was abusive to my mother for many years. It’s true, that the abuser blames the victim for their behavior. The victim takes them back and the cycle begins for the hundredth time. I wish there had been shelters and more help at the time my mom and our family was going through this.

Thank you for this article and all the truth it brings out. If only one woman can be helped by reading it, what a great thing it has done.

As for Mr. Sheen and his wife and their children, I too wonder what the future brings for them. I hope she realizes what type of man she married and that she needs to put her children first, not get caught up in all the false security Mr. Sheen would have her believe she has.”


Diane February 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Facebook Friend Steve Chastain writes:

” I wonder why women keep giving him a chance? “


Diane February 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Facebook Friend Miriam Travers writes:

” That’s what I love about you Diane! You ask the tough questions surrounding all the FACTS! YOU GO GHURL;-) “


Diane February 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Facebook Friend John Derge writes:

” How does a guy like this get a wife #3, or even #2? You have to wonder about the women who would latch on to someone like this.”


Diane February 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Facebook Friend Pete Fogel writes:

” How does a guy like this get a wife #3, or even #2?

$$$$$$ and fame…that’s how!”


Diane February 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Facebook Friend Jeffrey Watson writes:

“Follow the money ….”


Diane February 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Facebook Friend Susan Levit writes:

” He abuses women and he should have restraining orders against him or be in jail. Maybe he is paying the women off, but what about the future victims he will prey on. Sorry- he’s gotta go!”


Diane February 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Facebook Friend Butch Ekstrom writes:

“In the title 2 and 1/2 men, with his relationship track record, perhaps Charlie is the half a man…”


Diane February 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Karen Van Vactor writes:

” If he was not a celebrity he would be in jail right now….”


Diane February 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm

ABQ Reader Sylvia Leinweber writes:

“Ms. Dimond,

You might find it useful to know that it’s not “horned rimmed glasses” (too funny, actually) but “horn-rimmed glasses” based on the fact that at one time the rims of some glasses used to be made of natural substances such as horn.”


Diane February 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm


Ms. Leinweber drew my attention to my use of the phrase “horned-rimmed glasses” … Oops, my bad. I’ve now corrected the column!
Thanks, Sylvia.



Diane February 15, 2010 at 11:24 pm

DD Web Site Reader Steve Kozak writes:

“Within hours of Pee Wee Herman’s arrest for indecent exposure, CBS abruptly cancelled his show. Yet the same company now allows Sheen — who has been convicted on much more severe charges — to continue to not only remain on TV, but to crack jokes every week about what a Godsend he is to women. Shame on the judge, shame on CBS – but shame on the American Public for keeping this degenerate in the Top 10 every week. You idiots!”


Annie Hamilton February 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Diane, this is exceptional, although maddening in the way that you’ve illustrated that celebrities do not have to abide by the laws of our land, whether they are movie stars, congress people or our President. seemingly only everyday people must uphold our constitution, morals and practices. everyone else gets a pass.


Anne Sabel February 18, 2010 at 1:12 am

Dear Diane;

As a severely abused woman, I know how it feels to stay in an abusive relationship. I experienced my own gradual mental breakdown triggered by the constant physical and emotional abuse. I came to a point where the words joy and happiness were nonexistent. I stayed for many years hoping for a “miracle” to happen. Now, one year after leaving my husband, I look back and realize how paralyzed I was. I lost myself to such extreme that I could not even make basic decisions. Sometimes, I wonder what happened to this once confident young woman who used to embrace life with open arms. After almost getting murdered Christmas 2008, numbness finally hit me, like in trance, I picked myself up, and went to the police station to file charges. I could not go on any longer being beaten on a daily basis. Five felony charges were issued against my abuser and he is awaiting currently justice day in criminal court. In the first weeks and month after leaving my husband I was endless times tempted to return to him. I know, that without outside help and intervention, I would have returned to that abusive relationship to surely get killed. After leaving , I experienced my new won freedom at Laura’s House, a Domestic Violence Shelter for women. I completed a two month program for abused women. Step by step, I, and many other women learned how to integrate back into society, how to recognize potentially abusive relationships, and how abusive relationships negatively impact involving children.
I learned, that once a relationship turns ugly it will remain ugly, and that children who see how their mothers are getting abused will either become abusers later in life themselves or they will become other victims. Sadly the cycle keeps going on and on.
For Mr. Sheen and his wife it is a matter of time, but I think eventually they will separate. Every woman has a different level of tolerance, and for some women it even takes longer because they excuse their partners bad behaviors. Also, it has to be kept in mind that many women become accustomed to their current lifestyle, and that leaving inevitably brings lots of changes along the way. Especially women with children will go through hardship. This can be a very difficult process, where outside support of family, friends, counselors and social workers is a must to build a new foundation. For me the process of leaving was worthwhile. I am alive and able to experience life to its fullest again. My abuser is currently out on Bail and hopefully the day will come where justice will be spoken. Money might buy an abusers freedom, but they have to live with the shame and guilt. There will come a day where the abusers will look back and realize what they have lost.

Live and enjoy life


Janet Turner February 20, 2010 at 9:13 pm

And Tiger is publicly apologising to everyone when he should be only doing so to his wife…WHY? Seems to me what Charlie has done….and keeps doing….is alot worse.
Maybe he needs to be made to stand up before God and everyone and tell what he did.
Someone needs to kick his butt and good.


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