Charlie Sheen confirmed on the Today show on Tuesday, Nov. 17, that his ex-wives Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller knew his HIV-positive status. He also recalled a heartbreaking story about telling one of kids about his diagnosis.
Sheen discovered his HIV-positive status about four years ago. “It started with what I thought was this series of crushing headaches and migraines and sweating the bed,” the Two and a Half Men alum, 50, told Matt Lauer. “I thought I had a brain tumor. After a spinal test, they said, ‘This is what’s going on.'”
Sheen broke the news to his exes in 2011. At the time, the actor was still married to Mueller; he called her and told her to get checked.
Once TV’s highest-paid actor, Sheen has been married three times. The star was married to model Donna Peele in the ’90s, followed by Richards from 2002 to 2006, and Mueller, 38, from 2008 to 2011. Sheen shares two young daughters, Sam, 11, and Lola, 10, with Richards, and is dad to twin sons Bob and Max, 6, with Mueller. He also shares a grown daughter, Cassandra Estevez, with his ex Paula Profit.
“I’ve told enough [people] that I’ve trusted to be in the position that I’m in today,” Sheen told Lauer on Tuesday. As Us Weekly confirmed on Monday, Sheen’s second ex-wife, Richards, has known about the actor’s HIV-positive status for years, and supported him through his condition. A source told Us that the Drop Dead Gorgeous actress and her daughters are not HIV-positive. Sheen confirmed this to Lauer on the Today show on Tuesday morning.
Mueller’s rep Steve Honig also released a statement to Us Weekly on Tuesday, confirming that she and the twins were also not infected. “Brooke has been inundated with calls from friends and family,” the real estate broker’s rep told Us. “To put their minds at ease, Brooke can confirm that she and the boys are not HIV positive.”
Sheen only recently disclosed his HIV-positive status to his kids, including his eldest, Cassandra, 30. “It hit her hard, but she recovered,” Sheen recalled on the Today show. “But she’s tough like her dad . . . She was a rock star about it.”
Sheen told Lauer why he was opening up finally about his battle.
“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,” he disclosed on the morning show. “I think I release myself from this prison today.”