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Martin Sheen recalls feeling 'powerless' during son Charlie's 'painful' meltdown

Charlie Sheen (L) and his father Martin Sheen present the best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie award during the 58th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles August 27, 2006.

Charlie Sheen (L) and his father Martin Sheen present the best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie award during the 58th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles August 27, 2006.  (Reuters)

Martin Sheen opened up about his son Charlie Sheen's public meltdown in 2011. The "Grace and Frankie" star recalled feeling "powerless" while watching his son work through his issues in the public eye.

"What he was going through at that time, we were powerless to do much. Except to pray for him and lift him up," Martin Sheen told Radio Times. "You try to be as present as possible. But you have to be aware of the circumstances. You have to be aware of many things that the public is not aware of."

Martin Sheen, who struggled with addiction himself, revealed Charlie was taking steroids after his public meltdown that led to him being fired from "Two and a Half Men." He then began a stand-up tour, titled "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option."

"He was in a very desperate situation. And he was doing what he felt would get him out of it – going public. And it was very painful. No less painful for him."

Sheen said all he could do was tell his son that he loved him.

"You can assure them you're there and you love them, but you cannot effect change. That's your ego, for the most part. You pray for a moment of clarity, you trust in a higher power and you never, ever give up hope. Because that is a measure of despair."

The former "West Wing" actor also joined his son on the poorly-received show "Anger Management," which debuted a year after his son's meltdown.

"'Anger Management' didn't set the bar that high," admits Sheen. "I was delighted to work with Charlie – I adore him, and he asked me to do it. But we all knew that it was pulled together very quickly to get Charlie [involved], rather than to have a more interesting theme. It was too surface."

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