Hollywood royalty, Martin Sheen, opened up to Irish media legend Gay Byrne on the Irish TV show "Meaning of Life." Sheen, whose mother was born and raised in Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary, spoke about how his own wife was conceived in rape and his firm views on abortion.
During the interview Sheen opened up on how he practices the Rosary, his belief in trans-substantiation and the communion of saints. The actor, who recently re-ignited his popularity with his role as President Bartlet in "The West Wing," spoke on his Catholic devotion and how his pro-life views stopped him from backing President Obama in the 2008 elections.
When Byrne questioned him on his anti-abortion stance Sheen explained "We had pregnancies with our grandsons, three specifically. And we welcomed these children and encouraged the mothers to have the children and gave them support. The lads were not happy at the time but they came to love these children. We have three grown grandchildren, two of them are married, they’re some of the greatest source of joy in our lives.”
The veteran actor also said that his own wife Janet had struggled when she became pregnant with their fourth child. However, she chose life after speaking with a therapist.
Byrne who had interviewed Sheen previously, including one on "The Late Late Show" in 1987, brought up the fact that his wife had been conceived in rape. Sheen declined to speak about the rape, but Byrne suggested that perhaps if abortion had been an option his wife would not exist.
Sheen explained that following Janet's birth her mother had contemplated "dumping her in the Ohio River.” Janet was raised by her aunts for the first six years of her life until her mother and her new husband came to collect her.
At the time of the interview Sheen has just heard that "Two and a Half Men" star his son, Charlie's, sitcom had been cancelled. He said that he prays for his son every day.
When questioned about the outcome of Charlie's situation, Sheen said "I dread to think, I don’t know.”