Dylan Howard’s unusual relationship with Charlie Sheen started via text message in the fall of 2010.
As the current AMI, Inc. vice president and chief content officer recounts in this week’s Hollywood Reporter first-person essay “The Tabloid Tale of Charlie Sheen and Me,” he was quickly dubbed a “mensch” by the Two and a Half Men star for reaching out directly. A few months later, on Feb. 11 2011, Howard was being commended by Sheen for having “big balls.” The occasion was a visit by the journalist to the star’s Sherman Oaks home, where the actor had agreed to submit for Radar and The National Enquirer to professionally administered urine and blood tests. On Feb. 28, Howard would appear on Good Morning America to talk about the fact that Sheen passed both tests.
Although Howard’s AMI, Inc. outlets have previously reported on the bacchanalian ways of Sheen, many who read the THR piece will be shocked by bedroom details involving not just porn stars but also other men and a transsexual. There is a disclaimer appended to the end of the piece from the office of Sheen’s attorney Marty Singer. Howard though tells us he stands by everything in the article.
“This is not a vendetta against Charlie Sheen,” Howard states, “but rather investigative journalism. We delivered an exposé into the power, corruption and lies orchestrated by Charlie and his flunkies, the likes of which are practically unprecedented in Hollywood history. It is disconcerting that even when he is exposed as a narcissistic sociopath who peddled lies to the world, as evidenced in audio tapes that the LAPD is seeking to subpoena, Mr. Sheen remains committed to blaming the victims, like Brett Rossi, and so many others.”
“Any suggestion that there is any “anger” on the part of The National Enquirer, or its editor, as his reps have claimed, is ludicrous,” he adds. “We have merely done what we have been renowned for doing for more than 90 years — telling the truth and exposing lies.”
It’s a long way from the days when Howard was a regular visitor to Sheen’s “Sober Valley Lodge,” where he was gifted with a personalized “Vatican Assassin” dog tag and special walkie talkie to further facilitate direct communication. During another one of the journalist’s many visits, the actor entrusted him with his cell phone before retiring with his “goddesses.” Howard also made a short film with Sheen titled Operation Greyhound and, in the most literal sense, saw warts and all:
Another night, Sheen invited me over to watch a TV interview – the now-infamous 20/20 episode in which he declared: “I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen.”…
Suddenly, he insisted on doing another drug test. “We gotta do it now,” he yelled – and during an ad break, he dragged me into the bathroom, passed me an empty water bottle and had me hold it while he relived himself. On the shelf was an over-the-counter testing kit. He passed again.
Howard goes on to detail how, necessarily and inevitably, his relationship with Sheen imploded as he put together a “ghost team” of reporters in the summer of 2013 to investigate rumors that Sheen was HIV-positive and supported those efforts with extensive coast-to-coast travel and administered lie detector tests. Today, on the front page of Radar Online, the site states that it will contest an LAPD subpeona for Sheen materials. Oddly, after all that has transpired, this puts Howard back in the position of defending the actor.
William Walsh illustration via thr.com