Charile Sheen, wife petition for no cameras in Aspen courtroom
January 13, 2010
ASPEN – Attorneys for both Charlie and Brooke Sheen introduced court papers Tuesday asking a judge to not allow a Denver television station to film next week’s hearing in Aspen because it would “increase the circus-like atmosphere” of the case.
“As intensely personal as this process is, [Charlie Sheen] accepts that his status as a celebrity comes with a level of scrutiny in his personal life,” Sheen’s Aspen attorney, Richie Cummins, wrote in a motion filed in Pitkin County District Court. “[Charlie Sheen] understands that there will be media coverage of this case, and he does not seek to eliminate it.
“He does, however, seek to minimize its impact, so as to protect his right to a fair trial and to preserve for the alleged victim a modicum of privacy during this intensely painful and difficult time.”
Sheen was arrested in Aspen on Christmas Day on allegations of felony menacing, domestic violence and other charges. Brooke Sheen told police he put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. Sheen denies threatening her with a knife.
Through their attorneys, the couple have said they want to reconcile. They also want the provision lifted in the mandatory protection order that prohibits them from communicating with each other.
That aspect of the case will be addressed at a Jan. 20 hearing in Pitkin County District Court. Both Sheens are scheduled to appear.
“The upcoming hearing will be the first time that both [Charlie Sheen] and his wife will be in court for a hearing on whether this court will permit them to resume normal contact,” Cummins’ motion says. “No charges will be read. No plea will be entered. No schedule of future hearings on the substantive issue of the case will be discussed or decided.
“There is little of interest that will be discussed except on the most voyeuristic level.”
Cummins’ motion comes after KUSA-TV, a Denver-based NBC affiliate, filed a motion Monday seeking authority to use a television camera in the Aspen courtroom at next week’s hearing.
“There is no likelihood that the mere presence of a camera in the courtroom would interfere with the parties’ rights to a fair hearing; the coverage would not detract from the solemnity, decorum and dignity of the court; nor would the coverage create adverse effects greater than those caused by traditional media coverage,” KUSA’s motion says.
KUSA’s motion adds that it would broadcast the proceedings at a location outside the courthouse, meaning the press would not have to attend the hearing in person.
Cummins’ motion, however, argues that a “live picture would simply add to the circus.”
“This is not a reality show. This is a serious proceeding involving two human beings, one of whom happens to be a celebrity. Even without a live feed from the courtroom, it is still likely that all future proceedings in this case will spawn a media frenzy.”
Likewise, Brooke Sheen’s attorney, Yale Galanter, filed a motion concurring with Cummins’ position.
KUSA’s motion argues that Canon 3A of the Code of Judicial Conduct allows expanded media coverage so long as it doesn’t compromise the court proceedings.
Cummins counters that Canon 3A is clear that expanded media coverage, such as a camera in the courtroom, is not allowed in pretrial hearings such as the one next week.
Charlie Sheen, 44, stars in “Two and a Half Men” on CBS; he is expected to be formally charged at his Feb. 8 court hearing in Aspen. District Judge James Boyd is presiding over the case.