Your Cliff Notes Guide To The Confusing Custody Battle Over Charlie Sheen’s Kids

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Brooke Mueller and Charlie Sheen attending Denver Nugget game May 2009

If you've been following the ongoing drama of Charlie Sheen and the custody battle over his various children spread across the greater California area, you're probably pretty confused about what's going on. I know I am. I know there are two ex-wives involved — Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller — and four kids, and that's already close enough to a math problem that my brain kind of tunes out.

But this saga isn't going away, so I figure it's probably time to see if I can untangle this mess and clear things up for myself. Come along with me on this tiger blood adventure?


The kids at the center of the current custody battle are Bob and Max Sheen, Charlie's four-year old twin boys with Brooke Mueller, to whom he was married from 2008 – 2011, although she physically filed for divorce in 2010.


Well, their parents have some issues. Charlie hasn't exactly flown under the radar with his substance abuse problems and history of violence — the twins were removed from his home in March 2011 after Brooke filed a restraining order alleging that he was insane. He's also been charged multiple times with assault over the years, so it's probably safer for the kids to be with their mom.

BUT. Brooke has some stuff of her own going on, most notably a pretty troubling drug addiction. She attended a 45-day outpatient program in 2011 for drugs and alcohol, and checked back in in December 2012. Then in May 2013, she was placed on an involuntary 5150 psychiatric hold (the same thing that happened to Amanda Bynes) after overdosing on crystal meth, of all things, and the twins were taken away by the Department Of Children And Family Services due to concerns about her drug use.


Denise Richards, another of Charlie's ex-wives, has had temporary custody of the boys since May 2013. Which I don't totally understand, given that she has no discernible connection to them other than Charlie. I get that the two of them stayed friendly after their divorce in 2006, but she has her own kids with Charlie — Sam and Lola, as well as an adopted daughter, Eloise. So she has three kids in her house already — isn't there anyone else on the fringes of this situation with a little less going on who might be qualified to take care of two more so she doesn't have five? I don't get it.


Oh y'know, just the average stuff. According to a recent letter Denise wrote to Child Services, they were initially well-behaved kids, but repeated contact with their mother has caused them to act out, exhibiting violent behavior and mood swings. Apparently they're aggressive with Sam, Lola, and Eloise, and the girls have been “strangled, kicked in the head and stomach, scratched, bit, slapped, punched in the face and head”. This behavior has also extended to the family dogs, as has spitting.

Oh and one night Bob and Max apparently broke into Eloise's room and proceeded to poop in her tub and then fling it all around her bathroom. Charming. As Denise wrote in her letter:

“With no authority to make decisions on their behalf, I feel my hands are tied in providing them the proper help, support, and care that I feel as a parent that they need.”


Unclear. It seems like Brooke is likely to regain custody of them in another three weeks or so, and representatives from LA Child Services have called a meeting with the two women to ask Denise to please keep the boys until that happens.

But because the boys have been so destructive, it's not clear if she'll be willing to do that. She's asked to have them removed from her home, so it's really up to a judge from here. I can't believe I'm saying this, but if everything falls apart, I think these kids really could end up in foster care. Crazy. 


Brooke Mueller's brother Scott has taken the boys from Denise, and he plans to move in with his sister when she is allowed to regain custody. But even though Denise reportedly didn't ask for or accept child support payments while she had them, Scott has already made a request to Charlie for $55,000, an agreed-upon sum that Brooke is paid when she has full custody.

Scott has also only ever seen the boys for forty-eight hours at a time, and he has no experience caring for kids. So this should be interesting.

Here's to hoping that everything works out and that doesn't happen.

(Image: WENN.com / Apega / Agent47)