Charlie Sheen has filed a defamation lawsuit against the National Enquirer over a story that accused him of molesting former child star Corey Haim in 1986. Sheen was 19 at the time of the alleged assault. Haim was 13.
According to legal documents obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, Sheen’s attorneys claim the tabloid’s chief content officer published the story because of his resentment towards the actor.
“[T]he editor of National Enquirer, Defendant Dylan Howard, is running the story against Mr. Sheen because of a personal vendetta that arose after he was unable to be the first to break the story that Mr. Sheen was HIV positive,” the complaint read.
The National Enquirer published a report on Nov. 8 that alleged Sheen sexually assaulted Haim during the filming of Lucas. The story was heavily based on allegations made by former actor Dominick Brascia, who was a close friend of Haim’s. Sheen’s legal team suggests Brascia, the only named sourced in the article, isn’t reliable as he has also been accused of sexually assaulting Haim.
“The statements are categorically false and in the article, Defendant NEI outright states that the individual who claimed that the abuse occurred, Defendant Dominick Brascia, is himself accused of having molested Corey Haim,” the suit reads. “Thus, Defendant Howard and Defendants NEI and AMI entertained serious doubt as to the truth of the publication and/or acted with a high degree of awareness of probably falsity.”
The lawsuit lists Brascia as a defendant, alongside Howard, the Enquirer, and its parent company American Media.
Haim died of pneumonia in 2010.
The actor’s close friend and fellow former child star Corey Feldman alluded to alleged sexual assault in his book Coreyography: A Memoir.
“Within hours of our first meeting, we found ourselves talking about Lucas, the film he made in the summer of 1985, the role I had wanted for myself,” Feldman wrote. “At some point during the filming, he explained an adult male convinced him that it was perfectly normal for older men and younger boys in the business to have sexual relations, that it was what all ‘guys do.’”
Feldman claims he, too, was a victim of sexual assault while working as a child actor.