WATCH: Charlie Sheen Confirms He Is HIV-Positive, ‘I Thought It Was Over’
Amid rumors of his diagnosis, the 50-year-old actor appeared on The Today Show on Tues., Nov. 17 to confirm that he is living with HIV. Sheen reveals that he learned of his health status four years ago, originally fearing that he had a brain tumor due to symptoms such as cluster migraines and night sweats, and had only shared his diagnosis with a small group of people. “It’s a hard three letters to absorb,” he says. “It’s a turning point in one’s life.”
It is unknown as to how he contracted the virus. He admits to having unprotected sex since receiving his diagnosis with two people who were under the care of his doctor and were “warned ahead of time”.
Sheen tells Lauer that several parties have come forward requesting money to stay silent, estimating compensation “somewhere in the millions”. Today reports that this number is somewhere close to $10 million.
“What people forget is that they’re taking money from my children, they think it’s just me, but I have five kids and a granddaughter … I trusted them and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful. My trust turned to their treason”
He asserts that he is a victim of extortion, claiming that a prostitute snuck a photo of his antiretroviral medication from his bathroom cabinet and threatened to leak it to the tabloids. Sheen continued to pay for prostitutes despite such incidents due to drugs and depression, but claims that his unsavory behavior ends today.
Sheen hopes that coming forth with his diagnosis will help dispel the stigma surrounding HIV. He feels confident that his health condition will not impact his career at this point and allegedly has several films lined up.
“I’m approaching a time of more of a philanthropic approach in my life,” says Sheen. “I’m a survivor. I’ve been up, I’ve been down, I’ve been rich, I’ve been poor,” he said. “It’s another chapter in my life but it’s not commerce driven. It’s socially driven.”
Brooke Mueller, Sheen’s third ex-wife, confirmed in a statement that neither she nor their sons are HIV-positive. Similarly, E! News confirmed on Monday that his second ex-wife Denise Richards and their two daughters are free of the virus as well.