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Tuesday, 28 September, 1999, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Sheen's drug rehab praised
Charlie Sheen is making good progress but remains on probation
Actor Charlie Sheen has been commended by a Californian judge for making good progress in his fight against drugs.

However the judge refused Sheen's request to end his probation on charges of spousal battery and drug taking.

Sheen, 34, who is on probation until June 2000, appeared before Malibu Municipal Judge Lawrence Mira for a progress hearing.

Mira acknowledged that the star of Platoon, Young Guns and Wall Street was trying hard to overcome his drug problems.

Sheen was successful as the young ambitious stockbroker in Oliver Stone's Wall Street
"I want you to understand, I couldn't be more pleased with your effort," he said.

But he said probation would not be lifted because Sheen had twice violated his terms by walking out of a drug treatment facility.

The judge added that he thought the probation was helping Sheen stay on the right path.

Mira gave Sheen a one-year suspended prison sentence and two years' probation in June 1997 after he was convicted of beating his then-girlfriend, Brittany Ashland in December 1996.

In May 1998, the probation was extended when Sheen was admitted to hospital after accidentally taking an overdose of illegal drugs.

His father, actor Martin Sheen, asked prosecutors to file probation violation charges against his son.

Mira increased Sheen's probation to the middle of 2000 and ordered him into a drug rehabilitation programme.

Father Martin Sheen asked for charges to be filed
But the actor twice left the facility without permission in the early stages of his treatment.

Following his progress hearing on Monday, Sheen spoke to reporters outside the court.

He said the judge's decision "does not bother me because (while) it might have been the court that got me into this programme and this place in my life ... that is not what is keeping me here".

He added that he had made a lot of changes in his life and "will continue to fight the good fight".

Mira scheduled the next progress hearing for 27 March.

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