Linda K. Sienkiewicz is a writer and artist from Michigan. Her poetry and short stories have been published in numerous literary journals from Prairie Schooner to Bartleby Snopes online. Her latest poetry chapbook, SECURITY, is published by March Street Press. She has a novel and is represented by Chelsea Gilmore of Maria Carvainis Agency.
VIOLENT TORPEDOES OF TRUTH by Linda K. Sienkiewicz
I felt a ripple of pleasure when I read in the Detroit Free Press that Sheen’s “My Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour, which opened in Detroit on Saturday, was an unmitigated disaster. The Freep reported it as being a disconnected, rambling, self-indulgent show.
The Motor City greeted him with a standing ovation (shame on them) but apparently Sheen’s catch phrases quickly staled when the pointlessness of the show became evident. Even he saw his grip on the audience sliding, and, one point, felt a need to assure them, “Trust me, this is going somewhere.” It didn’t. It was a mere half hour before people started earnestly booing and some headed for the exits, grumbling about wasted money.
Why am I so pleased? It’s about time this man got his due. Unfortunately, his downfall may not happen for what, in my opinion, is the right reason, but at least it’s happening. Maybe. The truth is yet to be seen, but at the very least, people are beginning to question why they adore him. As for me, it’s been a long time since I could stomach his cutesy, bad-boy shtick on “Two and a Half Men” after I learned about his abuse of women. It’s shocking:
1. In 1990, he “accidentally” shot his then-fiancée, actress Kelly Preston, in the arm with a .22 inside their Malibu home.
2. In 1994, he allegedly struck a UCLA student in the head after she refused sex with him. He was married to model Donna Peele at the time.
3. In 1996, he allegedly slammed his girlfriend, adult film actress Brittany Ashland, on the tile floor, knocking her unconscious and splitting her lip. She claimed he made her dispose of her bloody clothes and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. He pleaded no contest.
4. In 2006, his second wife, actress Denise Richards, filed a restraining order against him, saying he shoved her and threatened to kill her. Court documents in their divorce supposedly include his offenses as obsessive gambling, drug use, prostitutes, porn, throwing chairs at her and threatening to kill her.
5. In 2009, third wife, Brooke Mueller, a real-estate exec, alleged Sheen strangled her, threatened to kill her, and held a knife to her throat. He pleaded guilty to third degree domestic violence. Despite his record, all he got was a slap to the wrist.
6. In 2010, escort Capri Anderson locked herself in a Plaza Hotel bathroom after he ran amok. She filed a criminal complaint that he strangled and threatened her, but no arrest was made. He voluntarily entered the hospital.
7. In March of this year, Mueller filed for a restraining order against Sheen, alleging he threatened to cut her head off, box it and send it to her mother. By the way, she says he also threatened to stab her in the eye with a pen, has spit on her feet and punched her. The restraining order was granted (at least this judge had some smarts) and the couple’s twin sons were taken from his house.
That’s a lot of alleging. When asked by Andrea Canning in a 20/20 interview about these incidents, he called the women “trolls,” and their accusations, “sad lies,” as if they were worthless. As far as some of his accusers’ vocations (escorts and adult film actresses), it doesn’t matter what the women may do for a living—beating them up and threatening to snuff them is not excusable. Ms. Canning didn’t press further, nor did she mention the fact that he’s pleaded no contest and guilty to two offenses—how I wished someone a little bit sharper had been interviewing him. Sheen had the gall to flatly tell Piers Morgan “No” when asked in an interview if he’d ever hit a woman, and Morgan also let Sheen’s response slide.
It appears Sheen likes to portray himself as the victim, claiming, for example, that Ashland attacked him and he was only “trying to contain her.” Poor Charlie. This is what men who abuse women say: “It was all their fault.” Torpedoes of truth, indeed. I conducted a writing circle at HAVEN Women’s Shelter, and I can tell you that men’s abuse of women, whether it’s physical or mental, leaves deep, long lasting scars. Its only purpose is to intimidate, humiliate and degrade.
I don’t understand why Sheen has remained popular when celebrities such as Chris Brown and Mel Gibson have been nailed to the wall for similar offenses. People are concerned about Sheen’s mental state and his self-abuse with drugs, but not for his abuse of women. He was fired from “Two and a Half Men,” not for his violent behavior, but for calling his boss, writer, and producer Chuck Lorre a “clown” on a radio show. What does this say about our society?
It blows my mind to think that women appeared at his show wearing t-shirts with his slogan “Winning” on the front. Do they not know? Do they condone or excuse his abhorrent actions?
Perhaps if his “Violent Torpedo” implodes, people will see past his grandiose proclamations of being a winner. After he got a rousing ovation at the end of the Chicago show, however, it appears he may be able to pull things together for the remainder of his tour. That would be a shame because he doesn’t deserve our adulation. Whether or not the public believes he truly is a serial domestic violence offender is questionable, unless he actually succeeds in strangling a woman.
(photos: abc.com, mahalo.com)