The rumor mill was on fire yesterday after NBC’s Today stated that Charlie Sheen was set to visit the show and was planning on making a big announcement. Various sites mentioned that the man might be suffering from HIV, and this morning Sheen confirmed his diagnosis to Today host Matt Lauer in a candid interview. You can check out the footage, below.
During the interview, Sheen admitted that he was diagnosed four years ago, shortly following the time the actor was dealing with problems related to drug use that affected his time on the set of Two and a Half Men. While the man has moved on in his career in the time since he was fired from the CBS comedy, he has been living with the secret of his diagnosis. However, because the secret was about to be unearthed by someone who was reportedly blackmailing him, he decided to get the information out in the open, for good. Here’s what he has to say about his diagnosis.
I’m here to admit that I am, in fact, HIV positive… It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life.
In the segment, Charlie Sheen also opened up to Matt Lauer, noting that some people had found out about his diagnosis and had asked him for money to stay quiet. Sheen actually paid out monetary amounts in the millions to various prostitutes and women he had been open with regarding his diagnosis and who had shaken him down for payouts. The actor openly admits to making bad decision after bad decision regarding the people he surrounded himself with after diagnosis, noting he was drinking and using and was pretty depressed for a long time. Now, we know why.
Sheen also mentions that the behavior during his #winning phase was more “’roid rage” and that the HIV diagnosis came “on the heels” of that portion of his life. He’s had a lot to deal with over the last several years, but now he’s coming clean and is being completely open about his diagnosis and the way it has changed his life. He says he decided to come forward in the hopes that others who are suffering will also be open about their diagnosis.
Hopefully, with what we’re doing today, others may come forward and say ‘Thanks Charlie, thanks for kicking the door open.'
Sometimes rumors do prove to be true, but it’s good that Sheen was able to speak out and deliver the news in a way that he was comfortable with. You can catch new episodes of Today on weekdays over at NBC.