Charlie Sheen has revealed that he is HIV positive.
The actor went on NBC’s Today Show Tuesday morning to make the announcement and to end days of speculation over the issue.
Asked why he did it, the former Anger Management star said he wanted to relieve himself of the ‘blackmail’ and ‘extortion’ he had been suffering in the hands of some people he told about his status shortly after he was diagnosed 4 years ago.
‘I trusted them, they were in my inner circle and thought they could be helpful. My trust turned to their treason,’ he told Matt Lauer. ‘… I think I release myself from this prison today.’
Sheen, who appeared on the show with his doctor Robert Huizenga, disclosed that he had spent tens of millions in settlements to prevent people from revealing his status, saying that once a prostitute he had been with snapped a photo of his medication and threatened to sell it to media outlets if he didn’t fork over some hard cash.
Sheen, who says he didn’t know how he contracted the virus, also admitted that he’s had unprotected sex with two people since the diagnosis, but those people were informed ahead of time and are under the care of his doctors. He also denied performing risky behaviors (needles and the like) or knowingly transmitting the virus to anyone else.
Sheen also said he told all his sexual partners about his status. He also told ex-wives Brooke Mueller and Denise Richards, as well as his eldest daughter Cassandra. Brooke has since released a statement assuring everyone concerned that she and their twin boys are HIV-negative.
Sheen’s revelation has drawn reactions from his former girlfriends and sexual partners. One of them, former porn star Bree Olsen, claimed on radio that the actor lied when he said he told all his sexual partners about his HIV status.
‘He never said anything to me,’ she told Howard Stern. ‘I was his girlfriend. I lived with him. We were together. We had sex almost every day for a year.’
Another former girlfriend Natalie Kenly, who famously lived together with both Sheen and Olsen in 2011, also told TMZ that Sheen didn’t tell her. She also said that both she and Olsen were in the hospital with Sheen while he was having closed-door meetings with his doctors.
Meanwhile, TMZ further reports that around 6 women have already prepared to sue Sheen for ‘intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, battery’ and since the former party animal has had up to 200(!) partners in the past two years alone (incredible), the list of suing women ‘will most certainly grow exponentially.’