Actor Charlie Sheen has revealed he is HIV-positive.
Sheen, 50, confirmed his diagnosis in an interview on the Today show Tuesday morning.
“I’m here to admit that I’m in fact HIV-positive,” the former Two and a Half Men star told NBC’s Matt Lauer. “I 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’t be farther from the truth.”
The actor said he was diagnosed four years ago.
“It’s a hard three letters to absorb, it’s a turning point in one’s life,” Sheen said.
The National Enquirer first reported Sheen’s 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 “to be in the position and the situation that I’m in today.”
The actor admitted that he has been extorted since being diagnosed as HIV-positive.
“I’ve paid those people, not that many, but enough to where it has depleted the future,” Sheen said.
“Enough to bring into the millions,” Sheen added. “That’s what people forget, that’s money they’re taking from my children. They think it’s just me but I’ve got five kids and a granddaughter.”
Drug and alcohol use have marred Sheen’s personal and professional life in recent years.
Charlie Sheen | PrettyFamous
The actor was kicked off Two and a Half Men 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 “dazedly chose or hired the companionship of unsavoury and insipid types.”
In the letter Sheen said he “always led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition” and that his “truths” led to the blackmail and extortion.
Sheen said he was still paying off his extortionists but “not after today.”
“I think I’ve released myself from this prison today,” 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 National Enquirer, Sheen has already started taking medication in an effort to counteract the effects of the potentially deadly disease. The actor’s “outlook is positive,” a source told the tabloid.
–with a file from Chris Jancelewicz