Actor Charlie Sheen revealed he is HIV positive on Nov. 17 during an exclusive interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer on The Today Show. The 50-year-old former Two and a Half Men star told Lauer he decided to disclose his status publicly to stop a smear campaign and extortion efforts.
“I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me, that threaten the health of so many others that couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said.
Sheen told Lauer he was diagnosed four years ago after suffering intense migraines and night sweats.
He also insisted it was “impossible” that he knowingly transmitted the virus to others. While he admitted he has had unprotected sex with two people since the diagnosis, both were informed ahead of time and have been under the care of his doctor.
Sheen said he’s trusted the diagnosis with people he thought he trusted, but has paid out “upwards of $10 million” to keep the illness a secret.
“What people forget is that its money taken from my children,” he said about the “shakedowns” he has experienced.
“I trusted them and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful,” he said. Instead, “my trust turned to their treason.”
But he said appearing on TODAY will help put a stop to those payouts.
“That’s my goal. That’s not my only goal. I think I release myself from this prison today,” he said.