Charlie Sheen announced on the Today show on Tuesday, Nov. 17, that he’s HIV-positive.
“You know, there are a lot of rumors out there right now,” Today show host Matt Lauer said on the segment. “And you would like to address them head-on.”
With a nod, Sheen replied: “I am here to admit that I am, in fact, HIV-positive. I have to put a stop to this mirage of attacks of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me that are threatening the health of so many others.”
Us Weekly and other outlets confirmed on Monday, Nov. 16, that Sheen, 50, was grappling with the disease. While several of his exes, including Denise Richards, were aware of his diagnosis, others claimed to have no knowledge of his HIV-positive status.
“I’ve told enough [people] that I’ve trusted to be in the position that I’m in today,” Sheen told Lauer on Tuesday. According to the actor, he found out about his status “roughly four years ago.”
“It started with what I thought was this series of crushing headaches and migraines and sweating the bed,” Sheen shared. “I thought I had a brain tumor. After a spinal test, they said, this is what’s going on . . . It’s a turning point in one’s life.”
An insider told Us that his second ex-wife, Richards, and their daughters — Sam, 11, and Lola, 10 — do not have the virus. Another one of Sheen’s exes, Bree Olson, tweeted on Monday about being tested for HIV. Olson, 29, an adult film star [real name: Rachel Oberlin], shared with her followers: “Recorded myself for half an hour being tested for HIV and getting the results. This is so stressful.”
According to Sheen, he has been extorted by some of those he’s had sexual contact with. “I’ve paid those people,” he said with a chuckle. “Not that many but enough that it’s depleted the [bank]. . . Enough to bring into the millions . . . For some reason, I trusted them. They were deep in my inner circle, and I thought that they could be helpful. Instead, my trust turned to their treason. We’re talking about shakedowns.”
He shared one story about a person that he had slept with. “One of the prostitutes threatened to sell the [medication] to the tabloids . . . It was after she had spent the day after she had helped me with herbal medications,” he shared. “I was so depressed by the condition that I was in . . . I was making bad decisions.”
Sheen told Lauer that he had unprotected sex with two people after his diagnosis, but they were under the care of his doctor. “Yes, but the two people that I did that with were under the care of my doctor, and they were completely warned ahead of time,” the actor shared.
The actor boldly announced to Lauer that he would no longer pay off those extorting him. “Not after today, I’m not,” he remarked. “That’s my goal, that’s not my only goal. I think I release myself from this prison today.”
Sheen has dealt with being HIV-positive for years, but in his interview on Tuesday, the Two and a Half Men alum’s doctor claimed that the HIV is now undetectable in his body. “Charlie does not have AIDS . . . He is healthy,” his doctor claimed. “He does not have AIDS.”