In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer, actor Charlie Sheen says, “I’m here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive.” He says that reports that he has threatened the health of others “couldn’t be farther than the truth.” He says he first found out about his status “about four years ago” and initially thought he had a brain tumor. He says that he has paid people who threatened to reveal his HIV status, “They were deep in my inner circle,” he says, and adds, “we’re talking about shakedowns.” In terms of paying people now, he says, “I think I release myself from this prison today.” He admits that he has had unprotected sex since his diagnosis, but that the two people involved were forewarned, and that he has told all his sexual partners about his status.
Accompanied by Dr. Robert Huizenga, Charlie Sheen continues his exclusive interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer. “Charlie has contracted the HIV virus,” Huizenga confirms, but adds that he is more concerned about the actor’s depression and substance abuse history. “Charlie does not have AIDS,” the doctor says. He also says that the odds of Sheen having spread the virus are low. Sheen says he takes four pills a day, and while he maintains is not taking mood-altering drugs, he does admit he’s still drinking.
Continuing the exclusive interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer in which he officially revealed his HIV-positive status, actor Charlie Sheen says of the possibility of a barrage of lawsuits from sexual partners, “I’m sure that’s next.” He confirms that he’s paid out upwards of $10 million to suppress stories of his HIV status and admits his financial condition is “not great,” but adds, “I’m a survivor.” He says that when he revealed his HIV status to daughter Cassandra Estevez, “it hit her hard,” but “she was a rock star about it,” and he confirmed that ex-wives Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller were told about his status right away.