The Two and a Half Men star, who'll still spend nights in rehab, wants to clear his name, a friend says

By Ken Lee and Elizabeth Leonard
March 15, 2010 05:30 PM
Credit: Matt Baron/BEImages

It’s back to work for Charlie Sheen.

The Two and a Half Men star will return to the set this week – but still spend nights in rehab – following his not-guilty plea Monday on domestic violence charges.

“Charlie is looking forward to going back to work for the final four episodes of Two and Half Men,” says the show’s executive producer, Mark Burg. “He’s also looking forward to clearing his name, putting all of this behind him and spending time with his kids during his hiatus.”

The actor, 44, wore a black suit and tie for his court hearing in Aspen, Colo., where his attorney entered the pleas for felony menacing and two misdemeanors for assault and criminal mischief. Sheen waved to photographers when he arrived at the courthouse, appeared reserved in court and did not speak.

Sheen took a leave from the hit show Feb. 23 to enter the rehabilitation facility for what his rep called a “preventative measure.” His wife, Brooke Mueller, who didn’t attend Monday’s hearing, is undergoing rehab separately at the couple’s L.A. home and is caring for their year-old twins.

The charges related to a Christmas Day fight with Mueller at a rental house in the ski resort. She alleged he grabbed her throat and held a knife to it while pinning her down, saying he’d kill her if she told anyone, according to police. The fight had escalated after Mueller, 32, threatened to divorce the actor, she told police.

Sheen denied to police that he threatened Mueller or tried to strangle her. He stated the couple had been having marital problems and that his wife abuses alcohol.
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A three-day trial is set beginning on July 21, but the case could end with a plea deal. Experts say most cases like Sheen’s end without significant jail time, given that Mueller did not suffer serious physical injury and the actor’s lack of multiple convictions.

His next hearing date is April 19, but he’s not required to show in person.