Charlie Sheen's wife claims knife threat in assault

DENVER Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:45am GMT

U.S. actor Charlie Sheen is pictured in this handout photo released by the Aspen Police Department on December 25, 2009. REUTERS/Aspen Police Department/Handout

U.S. actor Charlie Sheen is pictured in this handout photo released by the Aspen Police Department on December 25, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Aspen Police Department/Handout

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DENVER (Reuters) - Charlie Sheen's wife accused the actor of threatening her with a knife in a Christmas Day emergency phone call to police that led to his arrest, a recording released on Monday revealed.

She also told police that Sheen had threatened to kill her during an argument about a possible divorce, according to a separate police report obtained by celebrity website TMZ.com.

The star of the television sitcom "Two and a Half Men" was arrested on Friday in the ski resort of Aspen, Colorado, on suspicion of assault, menacing and criminal mischief.

Police said all three counts were "coupled with domestic violence components". Colorado prosecutors have yet to decide whether to file formal charges.

A 911-emergency call recording released by Aspen police on Monday confirmed media reports that Sheen's third wife, Brooke Mueller, 32, was the alleged victim. The couple married in May 2008.

On the tape, a distraught Mueller, her speech sounding slurred, told a police dispatcher that Sheen threatened her with a knife before family members intervened.

"Right now we have people who are separating us, but I have to file the report," she is heard saying. Asked what kind of knife Sheen had, she said, "It's like some switch blade ... he has it in his back pocket." Sheen is not heard on the tape.

Further details of the altercation emerged in an affidavit filed by the arresting officer and published by TMZ.com. Both parties told police their quarrel escalated when Mueller said she wanted a divorce and custody of their eight-month old twin boys.

According to the affidavit, Mueller told police that Sheen grabbed her by the throat while straddling her on a bed, "then pulled out a knife, holding it to her throat, saying, "You better be in fear. If you tell anybody I'll kill you. ... I have ex-police I can hire who know how to get the job done and they won't leave any trace."

The knife, with a 4-inch blade locked in the open position, was found in his travel bag beside the bedroom, police said.

Sheen denied brandishing the knife or assaulting his wife, but admitted to crumpling two pairs of her eyeglasses. He also said they slapped each other's arms while arguing but it was "predominantly verbal," the affidavit said.

According to an earlier TMZ report, Mueller later recanted much of her initial story, while Sheen told authorities that his wife was the aggressor and that he was fending her off.

Sheen, 44, was released from jail on Friday night and flew back to Los Angeles. He is due back in court on February 8.

His lawyer, Richard Cummins, declined comment on Monday.

Sheen, whose film credits include "Platoon" and "Wall Street," is best known for his starring role as a womanizing Malibu bachelor on the bawdy CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men," one of television's top-rated shows.

His Christmas Day arrest is not the first time he has been accused of violence towards women. He pleaded no contest to a battery charge in 1997 on his then girlfriend. His second wife, actress Denise Richards, obtained a restraining order against Sheen in 2006, claiming physical abuse. They divorced that year.

(Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Jill Serjeant)

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