Charlie Sheen Reveals He's HIV Positive & Has Known For 4 Years
According to a report released on Monday by the National Enquirer, Charlie Sheen is HIV positive and has spread the disease to dozens of women in a “multi-million dollar cover-up.”
The Today show also announced that he would be making an exclusive appearance on the show to make a “revealing personal announcement,” but it did not clarify what the announcement would be about.
"It's a hard three letters to absorb."
Well, this morning, he appeared on the Today show to reveal that he has, in fact, been diagnosed with HIV.
The 50-year-old actor and father-of-five has long struggled with substance abuse and has admitted to soliciting prostitutes in the past. His personal life has been a national spectacle for some time now. So, he spoke to Matt Lauer about his situation in order to end a smear campaign and extortion efforts.
Sheen has actually had the disease for four years now and has been undergoing treatment.
"I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me, threatening the health of so many others that couldn't be further from the truth," he said.
"It started with what I thought was this series of crushing headaches and migraines and sweating the bed," shared the troubled television star. "I thought I had a brain tumor. After a spinal test, they said, this is what's going on.
"It's a hard three letters to absorb. It's a turning point in one's life."
Sheen said he confided his secret to people in his "inner circle" he thought he could trust, but was turned on by them and has so far had to pay them upwards of $10 million to keep it under wraps.
"My trust turned to their treason," he explained. "We're talking about shakedowns."
Sheen said he told ex-wives Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller about the diagnosis when he found out. And he recently shared the news with his oldest daughter.
"I said, 'I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, but it didn't seem like you could do anything for me and I didn't want to burden you with all the stress,'" he said. "But she was a rock star about it."
Sheen admitted to Lauer that he had unprotected sex with two people after his diagnosis, but they "were under the care of my doctor, and they were completely warned ahead of time," the actor shared. He also said that he has told every one of his sex partners about his diagnosis.
The Two and a Half Men alum then boldly announced that he would no longer pay off those extorting him: "That's my goal, that's not my only goal. I think I release myself from this prison today."
His other main goal, he explained, is to be more philanthropic at this point in his life. He wants to help eliminate the stigma of HIV.
"I have a responsibility now to better myself and to help a lot of other people and hopefully with what we're doing today others will come forward and say, 'Thanks Charlie, for kicking the door open,’" he said.
His physician Dr. Robert Huizenga, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, claims that the HIV is now undetectable in Sheen's body: "Charlie does not have AIDS," he said. "He is healthy."
Apparently, Sheen is now ready to move on from his history of "doing a lot of drugs," "drinking way too much," and "making a lot of bad decisions.”
"It's not great," he said. "It will be great again. I'm a survivor. I've been up, I've been down, I've been rich, I've been poor. It's another chapter in my life but it's not commerce driven. It's socially driven."
If you want to learn more about living with HIV/AIDS and to contribute in the fight against the diseases, please visit amfAR.org.