LOS ANGELES --- Faced with a demand for arbitration by Warner Bros., actor Charlie Sheen filed a complaint for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday.
Sheen wants a federal judge to rule whether his dispute with "Two and a Half Men" producer Chuck Lorre and Chuck Lorre Productions is subject to arbitration, saying that the recent demand for arbitration, which Lorre has joined, is "specious."
The sitcom star says Warner Bros. and Lorre had no arbitrable claims when they initiated the arbitration with JAMS/Endispute, and that the action was "unconscionable and unenforceable," according to the most recent court filing.
Sheen is arguing that his contract with Warner Bros. precludes the company from asserting a claim against the actor without giving him an opportunity to cure any alleged default.
Earlier this month, after Lorre yanked the comedy off the air while Sheen gave a series of controversial interviews and exhibited other questionable behavior, Sheen filed a $100 million breach of contract complaint on behalf of himself and the show's cast and crew.
"Sheen further contends that the so-called arbitration provision in his agreement with Warner Bros. is unenforceable because, among other reasons, it is unconscionable," the complaint states.
Sheen's lawyer, Martin Singer, is painting the attempt at arbitration as "a transparent tactic by Warner Bros. and Lorre to make an end run around the claims they knew they would soon be facing before this court in the Sheen lawsuit," according to the complaint.
"In initiating the JAMS arbitration, Warner Bros. and Lorre failed to state any valid claim whatsoever against Sheen, or identify what relief, if any, they sought," the action states. "It is obvious that the JAMS arbitration was filed by Warner Bros. solely as a preemptive strike against Sheen in the media (since Warner Bros. and/or Lorre leaked the fact that it filed the specious JAMS arbitration to the media), and in a misguided maneuver to attempt to obtain a strategic advantage with respect to the Sheen lawsuit."
The four-time Emmy Award nominated actor says the "clear language" in his agreement precludes the studio and Lorre from arbitrating certain disputes, and that the tumultuous battle currently raging should be left to the court to decide.
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