Apr 24
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Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram)

Bitty Schram

Bitty Schram as Sharona Fleming

Gender: Female
Occupation: Assistant
First Appearance: First appeared on July 21, 2002.

Sharona's childhood is only mentioned in one episode. Her father, Douglas, owned a hardware store and died when she was a child. This left her mother, Cheryl, to raise Sharona and her younger sister, Gail, who is an actress and appeared in two episodes.

Her trademark is her tan Volvo 740 wagon.

What is known was that she had married out of high school but it did not last leaving her with an infant son to raise on her own. As a result being a very attractive woman she did some nude modeling under a pseudonym in Atlantic City. It was something that was alluded to in "Mr Monk meets Dale the Whale," and would come back to haunt her in "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy" when the murderer obtained the photos and used them to get Monk to back off or else he would publish them. In this episode, it is also revealed that Sharona wears a size 36C cup. She later became a registered nurse.

Appearance on Monk

Monk was in a catatonic state for three and a half years until Sharona began taking care of him. Monk was able to resume detective work and remarked, "She found me when I was drowning and saved my life." The series started a while after she took the assistant's job, and just how she got it and what their early relationship was are never explained, although it is revealed that Captain Leland Stottlemeyer originally engaged her as a nurse for Monk.

When Monk becomes a consulting detective, Sharona helps out, sometimes doing independent investigations and sometimes even using her sex appeal to get information that Monk cannot. She also does all kinds of things that Monk's OCD and phobias prevent him from doing as she has few such reservations herself. It was revealed in the episode "Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus," however, that she has a fear of elephants, due to seeing a girl falling into an elephant pit when she was seven years old. She took up smoking after Monk said "Suck it up" about seeing the elephant, and when Monk asked her to stop the smoking, she herself said "Suck it up." She once, when she was in need of some extra money, took some "pictures," which Lieutenant Disher couldn't resist looking at.

She drove a tan 1990 Volvo 740 GLE Wagon, which in one episode was shown to have 200,000 miles. (The counter said 199,999, prompting Monk to move the car forwards and backwards until the number was even)

She has 'quit' her job as Monk's assistant at least twice; in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Candidate" and "Mr. Monk and the Billionaire Mugger" (this was due to a pay dispute; she temporarily got a job at a lamp store). Sharona's 'quitting' became a running gag in the show, until she finally left in 2004.

Sharona was mentioned again after her character left the show in "Mr. Monk Is on the Run (Part Two)", having sent flowers for the presumed deceased Monk and flying in with Benjy to attend his funeral.

Contract dispute

Schram left the show halfway through the third season due to a contract dispute. It was explained in the show that her character had moved back to New Jersey and remarried her ex-husband, Trevor Howe.

Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants

The Lee Goldberg novel Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants has Sharona returning to San Francisco after her husband, Trevor, was arrested for murder. She planned to return to work with Monk and thus clashed with Natalie. Eventually, Monk discovered that Sharona's husband had been framed for the murder and after exonerating him (and Sharona and Natalie who had also been framed by the real killer), she went back to Trevor. By this point, she and Natalie had become friends and Sharona was sure Monk was in good hands, thus serving more closure than on the television episode. The novel ends with Sharona moving back to Los Angeles with her husband and son, leaving her character in a better position to be able to return into Adrian's life, e.g. visits, than it would if her character was in New Jersey, perhaps hinting at a possible return of her character.