Charlie Sheen’s life provides lesson in how addiction to pornography can harm families

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NEW YORK (11/13/10): According to press reports, on Monday the 45-year old actor Charlie Sheen filed for divorce from his third wife, just days after an alleged alcohol and drug-fueled rampage at New York City’s Plaza Hotel.  The rampage allegedly began after his 22-year-old “porn star date” for the evening allegedly refused to have sex with him until he paid the amount agreed to.  This year White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week runs Sunday, Oct. 31, through Sunday, Nov. 7.  The goal of the annual WRAP Week is to heighten public awareness of the harms associated with pornography and the need to enforce obscenity laws to curb the proliferation of hardcore adult pornography online and elsewhere.

Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, had these comments:

Following Mr. Sheen’s alleged rampage at the Plaza Hotel, I did a “Google search” for information about his use of pornography. What I found at was a “Declaration” (dated 4/19/06) that his second wife, Denise Richards, filed in her divorce case.  It stated in part:

Although Respondent told me that he only used prostitutes during the time he and I were separated, I didn’t believe him…Respondent promised that he would not be with prostitutes; however, he told me that he was not going to give up his…pornography habit and that I had to accept it[at p.10]…Respondent came into the house…I told him that I discovered some pornography websites that he belonged to which I found very disturbing (websites which promoted very young children, which looked underage to me with pigtails, braces and no pubic hair performing oral sex on each other).  I also told him about other websites I discovered that he accessed involving gay pornography and also involving very young men who also did not look like adults.  I also discovered that the Respondent belonged to several sex search type sites, which he looked for women to have sex with…When I confronted Respondent with this information, he did not deny it.  I told him that as a mother, I found this information very disturbing because we had two young daughters and that I believed he had a serious problem…I later had an AIDS test which he was upset about[at pp.11-12]…Respondent and I spoke…on April 9, 2006…I told the Respondent that I was very concerned about the children spending the night at his house because of the activities he was involved in with prostitutes…and pornography…I confronted him with information…that he was still having prostitutes at his house.  He did not deny this[at p.15]…

If true, Ms. Richards’ account of her marriage to Charlie Sheen may illustrate several harms commonly associated with addiction to pornography, namely:

*   Acting out pornography fueled sexual fantasies with prostitutes

*   Progression from viewing adult pornography to viewing pornography that depicts children or performers who look like children

*   Children being exposed to a parent’s pornography

*   A wrecked marriage

Under normal circumstances, such behavior could also result in loss of a job, but Sheen is a Hollywood celebrity; and these days outrageous behavior often serves to increase an actor’s popularity and promote a career.  According to a story in Sunday’s NY Post, a CBS “network insider” told the Post that Sheen’s bosses were “quietly thrilled,” thinking that his behavior will boost ratings for “Two and a Half Men.”  And sure enough, according to a report in Tuesday’s LA Times, ratings for Monday’s program “soar[ed].”

In Hollywood’s Golden Age, there were standards for entertainment content and for actors’ off stage behavior. Today, content is often a moral stench, and actors’ off stage behavior often smells worse.

Author: MIM   11/13/2010

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NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


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