Charlie Sheen confirms he has HIV
Straight from the horse's mouth: Charlie Sheen is HIV positive.
The 50-year-old actor confirmed the news on Tuesday (Nov 17) while live on the American morning talk show Today.
"I am here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive," he said.
"It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It's a turning point in one's life."
The former Two And A Half Men star said he was diagnosed about four years ago, but was not sure how he contracted it.
And while he has HIV, his doctor, who also appeared on the show, confirmed that Sheen does not have Aids. The actor now takes four pills a day and declared: "I'm a survivor."
"If there was one guy on this planet to contract this, that’s going to deliver a cure, it’s me.”
Sheen said it started with headaches, "insane migranes" and soaking his bed with perspiration. He initially thought he had a brain tumour.
In the lead-up to the announcement, rumours had been swirling that an unnamed Hollywood actor who led a playboy lifestyle had potentially infected many high profile females in the industry.
Then, in a series of exclusive reports on Monday (Nov 16), RadarOnline named Sheen as the mystery man.
Sheen, who has five children and a grandchild, said on Today: "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, that I've been threatening the health of so many others that couldn't be further from the truth."
The thrice-divorced man said he told the people he trusted about it, but was betrayed and blackmailed by some of them.
"I trusted them and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful," he said. Instead, "my trust turned to their treason".
When asked how many people he had to pay to keep his secret, Sheen said he could not put a figure to it, but "enough to bring it into the millions".
"What people forget is that's money they're taking from my child... it's not just me."
One such person who blackmailed him was a prostitute who was at Sheen's home and took a picture of his medication in his toilet.
When asked if he was still paying the people who blackmailed him, Sheen said: "Not after today, I'm not. I release from my own prison today."
Sheen was also asked why he kept inviting "these unsavoury types" over to his home and making the same mistake over and over again. "Because I was depressed, I was doing a lot of drugs. I was drinking way too much and I was making bad decisions. That part, I own (up to)."
But while his secret is out, his troubles are far from over.
Sheen is facing multiple lawsuits for failing to reveal his medical condition to his sexual partners, reported RadarOnline.
Sheen's former girlfriend Bree Olson tweeted on Tuesday (Nov 17) that she had gone to get herself tested for HIV.
His ex-wife Brooke Mueller, with whom he has two sons, also reportedly said she could potentially have been infected.
"I couldn’t handle the HIV news. Just six months ago, I was diagnosed with the eye disease and then Charlie potentially giving me HIV," National Enquirer quoted her as saying.
But when asked if he could have knowingly or unknowingly transmitted the virus since finding out about it, Sheen's response was an emphatic: "Impossible. Impossible."
"I always led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition."