Martin Sheen, the former Hollywood hellraiser tells Charles Laurence that watching his son lead a similarly decadent life fills him with remorse . . .

Sheen’s real name is Estevez; he is the product of a Hispanic father and an Irish mother. They were a big family, poor but loyal, and piously Roman Catholic. It is no accident that, for all his wildness, Sheen belongs to the exclusive club of steadfast Hollywood husbands, married to his wife, Janet, since 1961.

Even before trying to deal with Charlie’s drug problem, Sheen had proved himself ready to take change of his children. Charlie and his three siblings – Emilio Estevez and Rene Estevez, also actors, and Ramon Sheen, a dancer — would readily admit that they have an unusual relationship with their father, with much for which to be grateful. But, given the ethos of modern California, they may also feel that they have much to resent. Both Emilio and Charlie were furious when, in the mid-Eighties, their father intervened after they had made their girlfriends pregnant and refused to take responsibility.

“Abortion was suggested,” says Sheen,. “I don’t believe in abortion, and neither does my wife.”

So he opted to look after the children and their mothers himself. He bought houses for the women – the model Carey Salley, who has two children by Emilio, and Paula Profitt, Charlie’s high-school girlfriend – near his own in Los Angeles, and set up trusts for the grandchildren, now aged 13, 11 and 10. there were stand-up fights with the boys over his generous interference, but Sheen held his ground – and he is glad that he did.

“It all worked out,” he says. “They are great kids, and the boys love them, just as I was sure they would when they had had the chance to mature a bit.”

Despite all this, Sheen remains plagued by guilt because he was so absorbed in his own wild ride while his children were growing up. He worries that he learnt to be a father too late, and particularly regrets his failure to teach them the values and faith of Catholicism.

“I never lost my faith,” he says. “I was married in church, and I baptised my children. But, like all modern Catholics, I felt for a time that I had outgrown the Church. Now it is a bone of contention in my soul that I did not share my faith with my kids, as my parents did with me. It was a source of grace when I needed it. I have been greatly nurtured and inspired by my faith.”

– via Pro-Life E News Canada