- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (AP) - A judge will not immediately rule on Charlie Sheen’s contention that his $100 million lawsuit over his firing from “Two and a Half Men” should be handled in a public court rather than in private arbitration.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan Goodman listened to hours of argument Tuesday from Sheen’s attorneys and lawyers for his ex-employer, Warner Bros. Television.

The actor sued the studio and series executive producer Chuck Lorre on March 10, days after he was fired from television’s top-rated comedy. Warner Bros. cited a series of bizarre actions by the actor and his criticism of Lorre to end its contract with Sheen and scuttle the rest of the show’s current season.

Sheen’s attorneys claim an arbitration clause in his contract is unconscionable.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Former “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen went before a Los Angeles judge Tuesday seeking custody of his twin sons with estranged wife Brooke Mueller, who also attended the closed hearing.

No resolution was immediately announced. Sheen left the courthouse flanked by security and was on his way to catch a plane to Washington, DC, for a performance of his stage show. Mueller emerged from court smiling and hugged her attorney but declined to comment.

Attorneys for both sides also refused to divulge details of the hearing.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Hank Goldberg sealed the hearing at the request of Mueller’s attorney, saying it was “in the best interest of the children” because of “questions of abuse and other inflammatory and emotional issues.”

Sheen arrived in court wearing a black suit, glasses and an orange tie. As the public filed out of the courtroom, Sheen gave a fist bump to a reporter in the audience. One of his girlfriends, whom he describes as goddesses, accompanied him to court and sat on a bench outside the courtroom.

The actor and his estranged wife have sparred in recent months, with Mueller accusing Sheen of threatening her with a pen knife.

The couple reached an agreement and Mueller dropped her request for a restraining order. Sheen’s attorney, Mark Gross, said in court it was unfair that Mueller’s attorneys hadn’t sought to seal the restraining order, which detailed numerous alleged threats Sheen had made.

Gross agreed the hearing should be closed and said Mueller’s request for privacy was, “a dollar short and a day late.” Mueller’s attorney accused him of grandstanding, saying he didn’t object to closing the proceedings in a closed chambers meeting with Goldberg.

Sheen is in the midst of a multicity tour titled “My Violent Torpedo of Truth _ Defeat is Not an Option” and still planned to perform Tuesday night in the nation’s capital.

In Santa Monica, Sheen’s attorneys argued Tuesday that his $100 million lawsuit over his firing from “Men” should be heard in the public courts system rather than through private arbitration as his former employer, Warner Bros. Television, wants.

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