Charlie Sheen bailed after alleged attack on wife

Star arrested on Christmas Day after emergency services were called to couple's Colorado home
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The Independent US

The actor Charlie Sheen is to appear in court after allegedly attacking his wife on Christmas morning.

Mr Sheen, 44, was arrested after emergency services in Colorado received a call thought to have been made by his wife, Brooke Mueller. The actor was subsequently held in custody on Christmas Day for a string of offences including "second degree assault", "menacing" and "criminal mischief" before being released after posting a $8,500 (£5,310) bond.

Speculation is mounting over the incident, which is set to go before a court in February.

According to the TMZ website, Mr Sheen believed he was acting in self-defence. Mr Sheen's publicist, Stan Rosenfeld, refused to elaborate on the allegations, instead issuing a statement urging people "not to jump to any conclusion".

The couple married in May 2008. His wife, a property investor, gave birth to twin boys in March. They married following Sheen's bitter divorce from and custody battle with Denise Richards, a former Bond girl.

Despite his status as one of America's highest-paid actors for his roles in CBS's Two and a Half Men and Spin City, as well as leads in a string of Hollywood films including Platoon, Wall Street, Major League and Hot Shots!, Mr Sheen has endured repeated bouts of bad publicity as a result of his involvement in a string of scandals dating back to the 1990s.

In 1996, the same year as his short-lived marriage to Donna Peele ended, Mr Sheen was charged with an attack on a former girlfriend, Brittany Ashland; he pleaded no contest and was placed on two years' probation.

Perhaps most humiliating was his role in the 1995 trial of the "Hollywood madam" Heidi Fleiss. He admitted he had ordered at least 27 call girls from Fleiss and had run up bills with her for around $50,000. Three years later, declaring that he was shedding his bad-boy lifestyle and had found religion, he was admitted to hospital after a cocaine overdose.

Mr Sheen, who began acting in 1974 at the age of nine, is the son of the actor Martin Sheen and the brother of the actor-director Emilio Estevez.

Yesterday, Richard Cummins, an Aspen attorney who will represent Mr Sheen at the court hearing next year, urged the public not to rush to any conclusions. "I think at the end of the day it will be much ado about nothing," he told the Associated Press news agency. "I don't think there's any criminality about what went on."