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Charlie Sheen's Friends

Feared He Would Die

10/26/2010 1:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Charlie Sheen has been hanging out with some "bad people" over the last few months -- and some people who were trying to save him felt he might die ... this according to multiple sources connected to the actor.

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Our sources say Sheen -- who is currently hospitalized after a drinking binge that ended with Charlie allegedly trashing his NYC hotel room -- has been having renewed substance abuse problems since August, shortly after he entered his guilty plea in the Aspen domestic violence case.

We're told several people came into Charlie's life soon after the court case ended that took him "in a bad direction."  We're told when Charlie was at the Playboy mansion in August, he was already drinking again.

One source who has been working with Charlie recently says he's been "a tortured soul for months" and his friends openly talked about how they feared for his life.  Another source very close to Charlie echoed the fear that Charlie's most recent downturn could end tragically.

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