Rumours have been swirling for weeks, and this morning actor Charlie Sheen sat down with The Today Show’s Matt Lauer and confirmed that he is indeed HIV positive.
The actor and father of 5 revealed that the reasoning behind his confession on national television was an attempt to put to an end the extortion by those in his inner circle who knew of his diagnosis as well as the endless rumours.
"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."
After paying what he says is now in 'the millions' in hush money to those he thought he could trust, he said that these people didn't understand that they weren't just taking money from him.
"What people forget is that its money taken from my children."
"I trusted them and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful," he said. Instead, "my trust turned to their treason."
Charlie has 5 children from previous marriages - Cassandra is 30, Sam 11, Lola 10 and twin 6 year old sons Bob and Max. The actor says that he was diagnosed about 4 years ago, yet he's still not sure how he contracted the disease. In fact, he was convinced he had a brain tumour initially after experiencing debilitating migraines and sweating the bed at night.
"It started with what I thought was a series of crushing headaches," he said. "I thought I had a brain tumor. I thought it was over."
When he was finally diagnosed with HIV he says he was in a bit of disbelief.
"It's a hard three letters to absorb. It's a turning point in one's life," said the 50 year old actor.
According to US Weekly, Sheen's ex-wife Denise Richards, who is the mother of his daughters Sam and Lola, has known he is HIV positive for years, and that neither she nor her children are infected as Sheen was infected after they divorced.
Sheen's doctor also appeared on The Today Show with the actor and said that their biggest worry right now is his substance abuse and depression. The actor claims that he has not had sex with anyone since his diagnosis without them knowing about his HIV status and that there has only been two women that he's had unprotected sex with, but those two women were under the care of his doctor as well.
His doctor claims that his virus has been suppressed and that he's absolutely healthy right now, and that he has an 'undetectable level of the virus in his blood.' He confirmed that Charlie does not have AIDS, and that he is healthy.
The actor, who appeared throughout the program, said that finally coming clean and going public with his diagnosis had made him feel more relieved than he thought possible.
"I have a responsibility now to better myself and to help a lot of other people and hopefully with what we're doing today others will come forward and say, thanks Charlie."