Ginger Lynn in her home with gift items from Charlie Sheen she is about to… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)
Everyone has by now heard about the manic, tough-talking Charlie Sheen, the sitcom actor who publicly insults his bosses and makes T-shirt-ready boasts of "winning" and having tiger blood. But former porn star Ginger Lynn says she got intimate with another side of TV's top-earning actor — one that fans can now share for a price.
"There's a side of him that I don't think many people hear about," Lynn said during an interview Friday. "Especially because right now, everyone's focusing on the negative. I have the soft, the considerate, the sensitive, the warm, the scared, the encouraging sides — I have all these sides of Charlie that no one's talking about."
Now those in Sheen's corner — that is to say, anyone not among the critics whom the actor dubs "trolls" — can have them too, as Lynn is prepared to use an adult-film collectibles site (gingerlynnauctions.com) to sell off a trove of gifts, mementos and letters Sheen sent her during their two-year-plus romance in the early 1990s.
There is a baseball cap from his beloved Cincinnati Reds, with Sheen's inscription on the brim. A signed, self-published book of Sheen's poetry. Intimate letters. A vest the actor wore in a film. A strand of pearls he bought her during a trip to Japan. And, in light of Sheen's recent troubles after another round of rehab, a real conversation starter: An oversized, hardcover copy of the 1991 edition of "The Complete Drug Reference," which Sheen inscribed: "From one druggie to another."
"Charlie has a very specific, individual, warped sense of humor, which I love," Lynn said from behind the desk of her home office in her spacious house on a Woodland Hills street dotted with handsome, $1-million-plus properties. But their relationship ended a long time ago. "I don't know Charlie today. I haven't seen him in over 15 years." Referring to the items up for auction, she said: "There's someone out there who's going to appreciate these more than I do today."
In unloading the Sheen items from her past, she freely admits that the profit motive is uppermost. "Of course it's a business opportunity," she said. (Sheen's manager, Mark Burg, did not respond to a request for comment.)
Selling celebrity collectibles is a time-honored tradition in Hollywood, and the Internet has only quickened the pace. Sellers on EBay have offered wads of chewing gum supposedly chomped by Britney Spears (at least some of the items have been proved to be hoaxes). In 2000, a bidder ponied up more than $1,000 for two slices of French toast Justin Timberlake didn't finish during a breakfast interview with a radio station. And online casino GoldenPalace.com last week paid more than $40,000 for locks from Justin Bieber's haircut.
"Nothing wrong with people trying to make a buck by selling collectibles relating to Charlie Sheen," said Paul Levinson, a Fordham University professor and pop culture expert. "He's a bigger celebrity than ever before, and it's not as if any demonstrable tragedy has happened in connection with him." He added: "Media are making plenty of money in the ads they run in the Sheen interviews they broadcast."
Sheen and Lynn's long-ago romance offers revealing context for the antics of the TV star, who on Monday was officially fired from CBS' smash sitcom "Two and a Half Men" after a verbal duel with his employers.
Now 48, the Illinois-born Lynn was one of the top sex stars of the early 1980s, just as the VCR was pulling porn out of the shadows and into middle-class living rooms. Blond and petite, with a look patterned in part after Madonna's during that early MTV era, Lynn (real name: Ginger Lynn Allen) was the first and probably best known of Sheen's porn-star girlfriends, a habit the actor has continued to this day with such successors as Bree Olson, one of what Sheen calls the "goddesses" who have occupied his Mulholland Drive mansion.
Sheen met Lynn in early 1990, after she had left adult movies (she would later return to the business for two brief stints). She was trying to build a career in mainstream features with a small part in the western "Young Guns II," which costarred Sheen's brother Emilio Estevez. Sheen — already a movie star thanks to acclaimed performances in "Platoon" and "Wall Street" — was smitten and pursued her aggressively, she said. But she agreed to a first date only in a group setting. The pair ended up joining Christian Slater, Kiefer Sutherland and other actors at a strip bar, where Lynn said she bought Sheen a dance. "We ended up going back to his room that night," she recalled.