TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Actor Charlie Sheen toured an Alabama neighborhood leveled by tornadoes and said Monday he wants to organize a relief event for victims in the state.
After going through the decimated Alberta neighborhood in Tuscaloosa, Sheen told The Associated Press he was working with local officials to organize a benefit. He said a date has not been set.
"I want some money, hope, faith and healing to the area," said Sheen, the former star of the sitcom "Two and a Half Men."
Sheen was fired from the show in March and has been in a bitter dispute with executive producer Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros. Television. Since then, he's launched a stage tour that has captured attention.
The actor, wearing a University of Alabama baseball cap, said he decided to visit after receiving an invitation via Twitter from a University of Alabama student. David Harris of Mobile had asked in a tweet April 30 if he would be willing to perform a relief show in Alabama, Sheen said.
Sheen spent the day in Tuscaloosa meeting with storm victims and first responders. He posed for photographs with police officers and National Guard soldiers, accompanied by one of his so-called goddesses — marijuana magazine model Natalie Kenly — and former major league baseball player Todd Zeile.
At each stop, he was swarmed by dozens of people asking for autographs and photographs. Sheen also stopped by an area Kmart to buy flashlights for some of the thousands still without electricity. He paid the $324.07 tab with his own Visa card, and then brought them to a relief center amid loud cheers and applause.
"I'm astounded," said one of the people at the center, Adrian Norfleet. "I just can't believe someone would care so much."
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said he welcomed Sheen's visit, which likely would focus even more national attention on the city of about 83,000.
"I hope he's sincere when he says he'll come back," Maddox said. Sheen said he is planning to return for the benefit show and hopes to hold it at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.
One of Sheen's stops was at a destroyed Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. He walked through the rubble amid the pungent odor of rotting food, and left through an opening in what had been a walk-in freezer. Later, while going through the ruins of an apartment complex, he said he hoped people could find sentimental possessions.
"Little personal items mean so much in this kind of devastation," Sheen said.
Sheen posted a photo Monday on Twitter showing the wreckage of a home with a message: "I'm in Tuscaloosa. It's beyond words. Info coming soon on how you can all help."
Blinder is a University of Alabama student contributing to AP's coverage of the tornadoes in the South.
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