Open Letter: Collective Shout calls on Immigration Minister to revoke serial abuser Charlie Sheen's visa
Actor Charlie Sheen is set to kick off a speaking tour in Australia next month. Sheen's sickening history of sexual assault, battery and threats against women spans over two decades. We've got enough problems with violence against women in Australia, so why are we rolling out the red carpet for serial abusers of women?
We're calling on Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman, to revoke Sheen's visa.
The Hon. Mr David Coleman MP
Minister for Immigration
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
We are writing to you regarding visa applicant actor Charlie Sheen, who is due to arrive in Australia for a national speaking tour starting 3rd November.
Australian Immigration Fact Sheet 78 on Controversial Visa Applicants refers to “people whose presence in Australia may, because of their activities, reputation, known record or the cause they represent and propagate, vilify or incite discord in the Australian community or a segment of that community, or represent a danger to the Australian community or a segment of that community.”
We believe the application by Charlie Sheen meets the Department’s definition of ‘Controversial Visa Applicant’. Our views are based on his long and documented criminal history of violence against women. Allowing Mr Sheen into the country sends the message that domestic violence is not taken seriously.
Charlie Sheen has a history of sexual assault, battery and threats against women spanning over more than two decades.
In 1994, Sheen was sued by a young student after allegedly repeatedly striking her in the head and face after she refused to have sex with him.
In 1996, he was arrested for beating up his girlfriend Brittany Ashland, allegedly grabbing her by the hair and slamming her head into the marble floor of his home and threatening to kill her if she told anyone. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a one year suspended prison term and two years’ probation.
In 2006, his second wife Denise Richardson made an application for a restraining order, describing years of psychological abuse, threats and drug use. She detailed allegations of physical violence against her in the presence of their young children, including Sheen pushing her over while she held their young daughter and making threats on her life and the lives of her parents.
In 2009, Sheen was arrested on domestic violence charges after allegedly holding a knife to the throat of Brooke Mueller, his third wife. He was charged with felony menacing and misdemeanour third degree assault and criminal mischief. Upon pleading guilty, he was sentenced to 30 days of rehab, 30 days probation and 36 hours of anger management.
In 2010 Sheen was sued by Capri Ford who claimed he tried to choke her and threatened to kill her.
In 2011, Brooke Mueller, Sheen’s third wife, obtained an emergency restraining order after Sheen allegedly threatened to cut off her head, put it in a box, and send it to her mother.
In 2012, a man filed a police report after Sheen allegedly threatened to shoot him to death.
In 2013, Sheen sent an abusive tweet to his third wife Brooke Mueller, inviting her to fellate a hand grenade.
In 2014, Sheen was sued for assault and battery by a dental technician, after he allegedly grabbed her breast and punched her during a dental visit.
In 2015, Sheen was sued by his ex-fiancée Scottine Ross for assault, battery and false imprisonment. She claimed he held an unloaded gun to her head and repeatedly pulled the trigger.
In 2016, Ross obtained a restraining order against Sheen after a recording believed to be Sheen’s voice said he would rather pay someone $20,000 to kick her in the head than settle her lawsuit.
In 2017, Sheen was sued by an ex-girlfriend for knowingly exposing her to HIV. Sheen knew of his HIV positive status in 2011, and had sex with her in 2015. She claimed she asked him upfront if he had any sexually transmitted infections and he said he was “fine” but told her afterwards he was HIV positive.
Sheen’s list of offences is too extensive to list here. The complete list is available in an appendix on our website: https://www.collectiveshout.org/charlie_sheen_violence_against_women
Charlie Sheen is a Controversial Visa Applicant also because of specific conditions that continue to prevail in Australian society. In Australia, on average one woman is killed each week by a current or former intimate partner. Police respond to domestic violence matters every two minutes. Allowing Sheen to broadcast his misogynistic views towards women to an audience dominated by young men poses a particular risk for Australian women, and it sends the message that if you are high-profile and successful enough, committing violence against women doesn’t matter.
The Commonwealth Government’s National Plan of Action to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022 notes that violence against
women and their children costs the Australian economy around $13.6 billion a year. If prevailing social conditions continue, “an estimated three-quarters of a million Australian women will experience and report violence in the period of 2021-22, costing the Australian economy an estimated $15.6 billion”.
There are therefore economic grounds to examine Charlie Sheen’s application on the basis of conditions recognised by the Commonwealth Government to cost more in their aggravation.
The National Plan also states that, “While living safe and free from violence is everyone’s right, reducing violence is everyone’s responsibility”. There is further grounds to consider Sheen’s application on the basis of this assertion.
As a society which claims to be serious about eradicating violence against women, there should be no place for performers who glorify misogyny and degrade women for entertainment. Welcoming individuals like Sheen sends a message that our leaders don’t really care about stopping the promotion and glorification of violence against women, and that the National Plan exists in word only.
The artist’s presence here would contradict the Plan, in that his commercial product and behaviour undermines the human rights of women and girls and respectful relationships, and impedes attitudinal and behavioural change especially in young people.
It is our view that your Department has failed to conduct due diligence prior to advising you to grant this visa.
On behalf of women and girls, and all who care about them, we ask that you place the safety of our female citizens before a recording artist with a criminal history, who wants to exploit women for profit and who will contribute to a harmful cultural environment for them.
We request that you act urgently to revoke Charlie Sheen’s visa so that he cannot promote his misogynistic attitudes here. Please demonstrate that your Government is serious about addressing the scourge of violence against women by taking this action as a matter of urgency.
Contact Minister for Immigration, David Coleman, and ask him to revoke Charlie Sheen's visa.
Email at Minister@homeaffairs.gov.au
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