Actor Charlie Sheen has revealed he is HIV-positive.
Sheen, 50, confirmed his diagnosis in an interview on the聽Today聽show Tuesday morning.
鈥淚鈥檓 here to admit that I鈥檓 in fact HIV-positive,鈥?the former聽Two and a Half Men聽star told NBC鈥檚 Matt Lauer. 鈥淚 have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks, of sub-truths and very harmful stories that are about, that are threatening the health of so many others. It couldn鈥檛 be farther from the truth.鈥?/p>
The actor said he was diagnosed four years ago.
鈥淚t鈥檚 a hard three letters to absorb, it鈥檚 a turning point in one鈥檚 life,鈥?Sheen said.
The聽National Enquirer聽first reported Sheen鈥檚 health status Monday following an 18-month investigation. The tabloid claims the actor had been keeping his HIV diagnosis a secret for years.
Sheen said he told enough people that he trusted about his health status 鈥渢o be in the position and the situation that I鈥檓 in today.鈥?/p>
The actor admitted that he has been extorted since being diagnosed as HIV-positive.
鈥淚鈥檝e paid those people, not that many, but enough to where it has depleted the future,鈥?Sheen said.
鈥淓nough to bring into the millions,鈥?Sheen added. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 what people forget, that鈥檚 money they鈥檙e taking from my children. They think it鈥檚 just me but I鈥檝e got five kids and a granddaughter.鈥?/p>
Drug and alcohol use have marred Sheen’s personal and professional life in recent years.
Charlie Sheen | PrettyFamous
The actor was kicked off聽Two and a Half Men聽in 2011 after an explosive meltdown that included calling the show’s producer a “contaminated little maggot” and for allegedly providing cocaine to others.
During the sit down interview, Lauer read a letter Sheen wrote before his appearance on the morning show, where the actor admitted he 鈥渄azedly chose or hired the companionship of unsavoury and insipid types.鈥?/p>
In the letter Sheen said he 鈥渁lways led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition鈥?and that his 鈥渢ruths鈥?led to the blackmail and extortion.
Sheen said he was still paying off his extortionists but 鈥渘ot after today.鈥?/p>
鈥淚 think I鈥檝e released myself from this prison today,鈥?the actor said.
Mortality of HIV and AIDS in the United States | HealthGrove
Sheen has been married three times and has five children: a daughter, Cassandra, with high school sweetheart Paula Profit; daughters Sam, 11, and Lola, 10, with actress Denise Richards; and twin boys Bob and Max, 6, with third wife, Brooke Mueller.
According to the聽National Enquirer, Sheen has already started taking medication in an effort to counteract the effects of the potentially deadly disease. The actor鈥檚 鈥渙utlook is positive,鈥?a source told the tabloid.
–with a file from Chris Jancelewicz