Rob Lowe Talks Sobriety, Charlie Sheen

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 17, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: He starred in "The Outsiders" and in hit TV series "The West Wing." Now since he was a teenager, actor Rob Lowe has been a household name.

Now in his brand new book, "Stories I Only Tell My Friends," he tells readers about the ups and downs of his life through his eyes.

Take a look.


And joining us now is the one and only Rob Lowe. "Stories I Only Tell My Friends." Very nice to meet you. How are you?

ROB LOWE, ACTOR: It's great to meet you, Sean.

HANNITY: I love this -- the title of this book.

LOWE: Thank you

HANNITY: "Stories I Only Tell My Friends," because there are certain things that I only tell certain special people in my life.

LOWE: Right.

HANNITY: All right, except they are not Charlie Sheen, they're not Sean Penn. By the way, Sean Penn is a lunatic. I don't care how nuts Sheen is. Sean Penn is a left wing lunatic, you know that?

LOWE: Somebody told me that he didn't put his hand on his heart for the national anthem or something.

HANNITY: Yes, I heard that.

LOWE: Is that true?

HANNITY: I only read it, I didn't see it.

LOWE: Look, he's a great actor. If you met him, you actually, I'm telling you, you would spar heavily, but would you find him really bright.

HANNITY: First of all, two things interested me about you. Number one, you found sobriety and you've been sober for 20 years. Do you mean complete --

LOWE: Twenty one this week, but who's counting.

HANNITY: All right, 21 years this week. How in that environment in Hollywood are you able to do that? Because I got to assume that is not easy.

LOWE: I don't think staying sober in Hollywood is necessarily much harder than anywhere else. Sobriety is something that you just work on.

For me, it has been a lifesaver and a life changer. I did make different choices once I got sober to sort of help me live my new life. One was moving out of Hollywood and focusing on my family.

HANNITY: You moved north to Santa Barbara.

LOWE: Yes.

HANNITY: When Charlie Sheen -- and I'm not going to divulge in any way. I actually had a text little battle going back and forth with him.

I got his number, I texted him, and then we started texting a little bit and he stopped when I started really hitting him with some truth. I felt like he's just not ready.

Now, you're sober 21 years. Here's your friend you are watching implode. You tell a really fascinating story how a lot of actors ended up in the Sheen's house and there was a group of you very competitive, but you all supportive of each other.

So my question to you is, when you see a friend of yours after you have had your battles, imploding publicly like this, what -- anything you can do to help this guy?

LOWE: You know, I talk about this in the book about what my relationship -- these are people that I grew up with when I was 13. We all have these people in our lives, people that you may go years without talking to and when you see them -- you are right back to where you were.

I still reach out to Charlie. I love him very much. He knows I'm worried about him. He knows -- we agree to disagree on the best way to stay sober and get sober. He's living life his own way now.

HANNITY: The other thing is you talk about in the book, otherwise I wouldn't bring it up, but the sex tape, I forget what year was, but that was a wake-up call for you.

LOWE: Oh, totally.

HANNITY: You said something to the effect you don't want to be the first --

LOWE: I said being a trailblazer was overrated.

HANNITY: I think you said you went into seclusion after that. That really traumatized you. There was an underaged girl that you met in a nightclub where you had to be 21.

LOWE: They grilled me on my age so I figured everybody was grilled like I was and everybody was, you know --

HANNITY: All right, but it also woke you up. That was bottom for you?

LOWE: It was a year later actually. I mean, that was the beginning of me questioning what I was doing with my life. Finally, at the end for me was, you know, my grandfather had gotten very ill. I was unable to be there for him in the way that I wanted to because of my condition.

HANNITY: Were you drunk all the time?


HANNITY: Functioning.

LOWE: Highly functioning. And never when I worked.

HANNITY: All right, you were pretty liberal. You knew you weren't coming on this show and getting away with it.

LOWE: I'm ready, let's do it.

HANNITY: All right, so you were pretty liberal. You supported Mike Dukakis.

LOWE: I can always pick a winner, Sean.


HANNITY: Now you sound like Bob Beckel.

But you changed a little bit, you now registered independent. So why is Hollywood so liberal?

LOWE: Well, first, I think it has a long tradition of being a highly Democratic town. You get that perspective sort of over and over and over and over.

And you know, one of the great things about Hollywood liberals is their passion and their ability to stand out and try to get things done. You can agree or disagree, but they are very vocal. And I admire and I think it's a good thing.

HANNITY: When I think of the old days of Hollywood, Ronald Reagan, granted he wasn't at the top of the act -- Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope and all the work that he did for the troops. I don't really sense that duty to country that we felt when we were growing up or in my parent's generation.

LOWE: I mean, I can give you the names. You have Gary Sinise who works tirelessly.

HANNITY: He's a friend of mine.

LOWE: Right. And Gary's one of the great guys. There's so many others.

But, here's what I think, I think that artists build their art around empathy. I think that if you -- liberal politics is built on empathy. I think conservative politics, from my opinion is built on --

HANNITY: Common sense --

LOWE: Logic. Logic and empathy is like left brain, right brain stuff. So I just think naturally empathetic artist are drawn to that.

HANNITY: Well, listen, congratulations on your career. More importantly, it is really nice to get kind of refreshing Hollywood story.

You know, you love your family, your kids and also to be totally honest is a lot of fun. Tell Sean Penn I said hi.


LOWE: I will, thank you.

HANNITY: And good luck with Charlie Sheen.

LOWE: Thank you.


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