When a “winner” starts to lose it

Here’s a prediction: Charlie Sheen will be either dead or in prison by the end of the year.

The popular actor, who has appeared in such classics as Shadow Conspiracy and All Dogs Go To Heaven 2, has spent the past few years playing one of the central characters on the nation’s highest-rated television sitcom, Two and a Half Men.

It was a gig that established Sheen as the highest paid television actor working today, earning an estimated $1.8 million per episode.

But in recent weeks he has become known for something completely different. He has been in the middle of a media firestorm, firing off nonsensical outbursts and trashing the people he worked with, including his shows co-creator, Chuck Lorre.

His random musings, in which he claims to have “tiger’s blood and Adonis DNA,” are funny if not disturbing. His Twitter page, set up just a few days ago, already has over 2.2 million followers, and there are many voices on the Internet and abroad that are egging him on and adopting Sheen’s strategy of “winning.”

He has dubbed his Los Angeles mansion the “Sober Valley Lodge” (in reference to Sheen claiming he cured himself of his substance abuse problems with his mind) and has set up a kind of fortress with two women he calls his “goddesses”: porn star Bree Olson and graphic designer Natalie Kenly.

But underneath the bombastic and weirdly defiant exterior Sheen is exposing to the world, a more sinister problem emerges.

The unavoidable truth is that Sheen is in the midst of one of the most unbelievable and gigantic meltdowns in recent memory.

What’s more, the entirety of it is being broadcast to the world.

The media blitz has resulted in the loss of everything important in Sheen’s life. His job at Warner Bros. was terminated, and he is prohibited from even setting foot onto the studio’s premises.

Furthermore, Sheen’s twin sons, Bob and Max, have been taken from him and sent to live with Sheen’s estranged wife, Brooke Mueller.

One can only watch his video blog, innocently titled “Sheen’s Korner,” to watch his rapid downward spiral.

In a recent entry, entitled “Torpedoes of Truth Part 2,” Sheen looks gaunt and disheveled, with messy hair and an paranoid look emblazoned on his face.

While talking to his associate on the phone, Sheen takes frequent drags of his cigarette, drinks a concealed beverage, and shouts out random slogans such as “Winner winner chicken dinner” in a hackneyed and upsetting manner.

Entertainment Weekly called it, “The saddest performance of [Sheen’s] career.”

While the initial amusement of Sheen’s antics has given way to grim horror, Sheen has not shown any signs of stopping.

He has sued Warner Bros for $100 million, claiming that the studio owes him for his lost gig and the emotional stress he has endured.

Despite the recent insanity involving his son, Martin Sheen continues to be supportive.

“You have to have an equal measure of concern and love and lift them up,” the elder Sheen said in an interview with Britain’s Sky TV. “So that’s what we do for him.”

Psychologists, including Dr. Drew Pinsky, have speculated that Sheen is exhibiting signs of bipolar disorder, and is in the middle of a particularly powerful manic episode.

Of course, if this is true, the impending depressive episode could be even more devastating.

Meanwhile, sites like TMZ have been reveling in Sheen’s meltdown, devoting the majority of their coverage to whatever crazy thing Sheen says or does. His darkest moments are mere fodder for the entertainment networks.

Charlie Sheen’s life is unraveling, and all we can do is watch.

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