So the rumors were true: Charlie Sheen has just announced on the ‘Today’ show that he is, indeed, HIV positive. He said he was first diagnosed four years ago and admitted that he’s been “extorted” by others to keep his diagnosis secret.
Charlie told Matt Lauer:
I am here to admit I am, in fact, HIV positive.”
He said he felt compelled to speak out to combat the rumors that were started to spread about willingly transmitting HIV, threatening the health of others, and to end the extortion. Charlie admitted that he confided his diagnosis in people he thought he could trust.
My truth became their treason.”
That has to be tough.
Charlie admitted that he has paid people to keep quiet.
I’ve paid those people, not that many [people] but paid in the millions.”
He indicated that the payouts were getting to the point where it was threatening his fortune and his children’s future. Charlie said that one person took a picture of his medication bottle and threatened him with it. One of the reasons he’s going public is because he thinks it will end him having to pay all these people to keep quiet. He said he was “not paying” after his interview with ‘Today.’ Charlie denied that any lawsuits had been filed but said he was subjected to “shakedowns” and admitted to being sexually active with “unsavory” women.
Charlie said part of the reason he was consorting with these women was because he was doing drugs and drinking to help cope with his diagnosis. He said his public meltdown around the time of his ‘Two and a Half Men’ firing was due to “‘roid rage” but suggested his drug use at the time was partly in response to being diagnosed with HIV.
Charlie insisted that he had been open about his diagnosis and used condoms and said it was “Impossible” that he had given anyone HIV, although he didn’t say why he thought that was impossible. He admitted to having unprotected sex with two women but said they both knew about his diagnosis and were under the care of his physician. That sounds… mind-boggling. Charlie said he wasn’t sure how he contracted HIV. Story developing…
UPDATED: Charlie’s personal physician appeared on ‘Today’ to confirm his diagnosis and state that he was responding well to treatment. At this point, his doctor confirmed that the HIV had dropped to “undetectable levels” in his blood stream, but the doctor also pointed out that while HIV is treatable, it’s not curable. The doctor said it’s unlikely Charlie could have transmitted HIV while the levels are so low in his bloodstream.
The doctor said that, at this point, his biggest health concerns for Charlie were his substance abuse and his depression as a result of being diagnosed with HIV than the actual HIV itself. Charlie said he’s stopped using drugs and might be able to quit drinking now that he’s gone public and is no longer keeping this a secret.
Photos by FAMEFLYNET