Charlie Sheen announces he is HIV-positive on US Today show
Charlie Sheen has announced on US television that he is living with HIV.
He made the announcement in an interview with Matt Lauer on the US Today show.
Sheen, who has boasted of sleeping with more than 5,000 women, is alleged to have confessed his illness to almost a dozen sources, some of which have demanded money for their silence.
Sheen said he was diagnosed four years ago after suffering from headaches and migraines and sweating in bed.
He said: "I had to be hospitalised, I thought I had a brain tumour, I thought it was over.
"It's a hard three letters to absorb."
When asked by Lauer if people have demanded money to stay silent about his diagnosis, Sheen said: "I have paid those people - not that many, but enough."
He 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."
The Hollywood star said he would stop paying them now that his HIV status was public. He said: “I release myself from this prison today.”
Sheen continued to bring prostitutes to his home even after an incident of extortion took place when a prostitute took a picture of his antiretroviral medication and threatened to sell it. He said it was because he was depressed.
He also said it was 'impossible' for him to have knowingly or unknowingly transmitted the virus since his diagnosis and takes four pills a day to treat the disease.
In the interview, Dr Robert Huizenga who spoke about Sheen's condition, said: "Charlie does not have AIDS."
Dr Huizenga also said that 'Charlie is healthy'.
Sheen, who has been married three times, confirmed that two of his ex-wives knew about his diagnosis.
The showbusiness website Radar Online published a report about a Hollywood “megastar” being HIV positive on Monday, but the report did not name Sheen at that time and The National Enquirer named Sheen on the same day.
Sheen married his first wife, Donna Peele, in 1995. He has five children - a daughter Cassandra, 21, with high school sweetheart Paula Profit; daughters Sam, 11, and Lola, 10, with second wife Denise Richards; and twin boys Bob and Max, 6, with third wife Brooke Mueller.
He and ex-wife Denise Richards divorced in 2006 after four years of marriage. A source claimed to US Weekly that Richards knew Charlie was HIV-positive for two years, but neither her nor their two children have the disease.
Mueller also confirmed that she nor their twin sons have contracted the HIV virus.
Last year, Sheen and ex-fiancée Brett Rossi, called off their engagement. Rossi reportedly did not know Sheen had the disease.
Sheen, best known for his role in Two and a Half Men and Anger Management, was once the highest paid actor on television, earning a reported $1.8million (£1.1 million) per episode for his work on Two and a Half Men during the show's eighth season.
However, his numerous problems with drugs and alcohol over the years led to him being fired in 2011 when he demanded more money for his work following his third stint in rehab in 12 months.
Sheen’s film credits include Major League, Hot Shots and Being John Malkovich. He most recently starred in the FX series Anger Management, which ran from June 2012 to December 2014.
Belfast Telegraph Digital