Charlie Sheen has spoken out for the first time about being diagnosed HIV-Positive.
During a sit-down with Today's Matt Lauer, the Two and a Half Men actor opened up about his current health, his decision to stay silent about it for years and what the future holds for him both personally and professionally.
"I'm here to admit that I am in fact HIV-positive," the 50-year-old star explained on the morning show. "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, threatening the health of so many others, which couldn't be further from the truth."
Sheen said he was diagnosed "roughly four years ago" and he told a select number of people. "I've told enough that I trusted to be in the position and the situation that I'm in today." Sheen said he first realized something was off "based on this series of cluster headaches and insane migraines and sweating the bed, completely drenched two, three nights in a row, that I was emergency hospitalized. I thought I had a brain tumor. I thought it was over. After a battery of tests and spinal taps, all that crap, they walked in the room and said, 'Boom. Here's what's going on.' It's a hard three letters to absorb. It's a turning point in one's life."
He also claimed that a lot of people have demanded money to stay silent about his diagnosis. "I have paid those people—not that many, but enough to where it has depleted the future." Asked how many people he has paid, Sheen said, "I don't want to guess wrong, but enough to bring it into the millions. What people forget is that's money they're taking from my children. You know? They think it's just me. But I've got five kids and a granddaughter, you know?"
Regarding the people who took advantage of him, Sheen said, "For some reason I trusted them. They were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful." Instead, he said, "My trust turned to their treason."
Sheen said appearing on Today will help put a stop to those payouts. "That's my goal. That's not my only goal. I think I release myself from this prison today," he said.
Asked why he would continue to surround himself with, as Lauer put it, "unsavory types," Sheen explained, "I was so depressed by the condition that I was in. I was doing a lot of drugs. I was drinking way too much. I was making really bad decisions. That part I own, 100 percent."