US actor Charlie Sheen, 50, has revealed he is HIV positive in a television interview with Today‘s Matt Lauer.
“I am here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive,” he said. “I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that threaten the health of so many others that couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
The former Two and a Half Men star said he was diagnosed 4 years ago after battling headaches, “insane migraines” and “sweating the bed two, three nights in a row.”
“It’s a hard three letters to absorb,” Sheen said. “It’s a turning point in one’s life.”
The news follows speculative stories in recent days in US media.
But Sheen said he was coming forward with the news to put an end to payments made to “shake-downs” to keep the news quiet. He said the money paid was “into the millions.”
“What people forget is that’s money they’re taking from my children,” Sheen said. “They think it’s just me, but I’ve got five kids and a granddaughter.
“I think I release myself from this prison today,” he said.
In 2011 Sheen, 50, was fired from Two and a Half Men. He returned in Anger Management but the comedy has since been cancelled.
Asked by Matt Lauer if he felt his HIV status carried a ‘stigma’, Sheen said, “Not any more I don’t. I have a responsibility to better myself and to help a lot of other people. And hopefully with what we’re doing today other people might come forward and say ‘Thanks Charlie. Thanks for kicking the door open, y’know.'”