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Charlie Sheen Reveals He's HIV-Positive

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 17/11/2015 Stephanie Marcus
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Charlie Sheen revealed he was diagnosed as HIV-positive in an interview on the "Today" show on Tuesday. 

The 50-year-old actor sat down with Matt Lauer and opened up about learning of the diagnosis four years ago. 

"I would like to admit that I am in fact HIV-Positive," he told Lauer adding that he only told people he thought he could trust at the time, but was mistaken. The actor went on to say that he's been the victim of blackmail and extortion and had to pay people to stay quiet about his diagnosis. 

"We're talking about shakedowns," the actor explained to Lauer and confirmed that a sex worker he hired took a photo of the anti-viral medication in his bathroom and threatened to sell the photo to the tabloids. 

Sheen also said he's not sure how he contracted the virus. "It started with what I thought was a series of crushing headaches. I thought I had a brain tumor. I thought it was over," he said. 

Sheen's decision to disclose his diagnosis comes a day after The National Enquirer published a cover story claiming the actor was diagnosed four years ago, and two weeks after RadarOnline ran a blind item claiming a Hollywood "bad-boy" found out about his HIV-positive diagnosis two years ago. On Monday, both TMZ and People reported that Sheen intended going public with his diagnosis

Sheen has mostly faded from the spotlight since FX canceled "Anger Management" in 2014, but at one point, the 50-year-old was the highest paid actor on television, reportedly taking home $1.9 million per episode for his role on "Two and a Half Men." This was before his much-publicized meltdown in 2011, in which he was fired from the CBS series and would go on to claim he possessed "tiger blood and Adonis DNA" and was "winning" in interviews. 

The actor did make headlines, however, when he launched a personal attack against his ex-wife Denise Richards via Twitter in June. Richards and Sheen were married in 2002 and have two daughters together. They divorced in 2006. Sheen went on to marry actress Brooke Mueller, who gave birth to the couple's twin boys in 2009. The couple finalized their divorce in 2011, but a custody battle over their sons waged on. In December 2014, TMZ reported that Mueller was given full custody of the boys, while Sheen agreed to monitored visits. 

According to the CDC, 1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV,  while 36.9 million people have been diagnosed as positive worldwide. 


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