Charlie Sheen confirmed that he is HIV-positive during an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer on TODAY this morning. The actor has known about his diagnosis for approximately four years now, but is still unsure how he contracted the STD. In the early stages of his symptoms, Sheen thought the pain was “a series of crushing headaches.” He continues, “I thought I had a brain tumor. I thought it was over.”
He states that he confided in other people by telling them of his diagnosis. Sheen claims that, instead of expressing compassion and loyalty, those people have extorted “millions” from him to keep the HIV-positive status a secret. He insists that these people “were deep in my inner circle…I thought they could be helpful.” Instead, Sheen found himself feeling alone when his “trust turned to their treason.” In regards to these “shakedowns,” what bothers him the most is that it’s money taken away from his children.
Lately, rumors have been swirling of his positive status, which is what ultimately led the 50-year-old actor to make his announcement: “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.” By making this statement, Sheen hoped to prevent a potential “smear campaign” and the continued effort of “extortion efforts.”
As for how Charlie Sheen is handling his diagnosis, he notes that acronym HIV has come to be “hard three letters to absorb.” The actor continued, “It’s a turning point in one’s life.” However, he is hopeful for the future after being honest with the world: “I think I release myself from this prison today.” His honest interview appears to have been a cathartic and rewarding experience.
Watch the full interview here.