Charlie Sheen to be sued by six lovers after confirming he's HIV-positive
At least six women plan to sue Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen after he confirmed he is HIV-positive and had paid millions of dollars to stop people revealing his diagnosis.
The 50-year-old Platoon actor said he found out about his illness four years ago and had since been the victim of "blackmail and extortion".
In a live interview with Matt Lauer on American morning TV show Today, he said: "I am here to admit I am HIV-positive and I have to put a stop to the onslaught and barrage of attacks and sub-truths and harmful stories that are about threatening the health of so many others."
Celebrity website TMZ said a prominent Los Angeles lawyer had told it that six women contacted him after the discosures, and he has appointments with four more.
The women claim they had both protected and unprotected sex with Sheen, as recently as last month, and he did not disclose his HIV status.
Sheen was once the highest paid actor on American television for his show Two And A Half Men and said he had been the subject of "shakedowns" to buy the silence of members of his inner circle.
In a letter to Lauer that the host read on air, Sheen said: "Sadly my truth soon became their treason as a deluge of blackmail and extortion took centre stage in this circus of deceit."
Asked how many people he had paid, Sheen said: "I don't want to guess wrong but enough to bring it into the millions, and what people forget is that is money they are taking from my children."
Lauer said Sheen had told him off-camera that he had paid out upwards of 10 million US dollars (£6.6 million) in the "shakedowns", and asked the actor about his financial situation as a result.