As expected, Charlie Sheen confirmed on the Today show this morning that he is HIV positive. He disclosed the information to co-host Matt Lauer in an exclusive sit-down interview. You can see two excerpts from the show in the video below. Here's what the actor had to say when first admitting that he had contracted the virus, when asked why he was making a statement this morning.
"I have to. Yeah. I have to admit that I am, in fact, HIV positive. And I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks of sub-truths, and very harmful stories that are threatening the health of so many others. Which couldn't be farther from the truth."
Sheen went onto say that he has known for 4 years that he was HIV positive. He described what it was like during the first stages of becoming ill. And how he initially thought he had a brain tumor. He also calls contracting HIV a defining point in his life. Here, he explains more details, revealing that certain individuals close to him leaked the information to the tabloids for their own personal gain.
"I've told enough that I trusted to be in the situation that I'm in today. Absolutely [people I thought I could trust at the time]. [I was diagnosed] roughly four years ago. It started with this series of cluster headaches. Insane migraines. Going to bed, completely drenched. Sweating the bed. There were two or three nights in a row when I was emergency hospitalized. I thought I had a brain tumor. I thought it was over. After a battery of tests, 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."
It was just 24 hours ago that a rep for Charlie Sheen confirmed that the actor was on a cocktail of drugs, attempting to treat the HIV virus. During the interview, the actor says that a multitude of people, including former sexual partners, have been extorting him for cash following his diagnosis. The National Inquirer first broke the news, claiming that Sheen knowingly had sex with an untold number of individuals knowing that he was sick. When asked by Matt Lauer if he was paying these people off, the actor had this to say.
"Not after today I'm not. That's my goal. That's not my only goal, but I think I released myself from this prison today."
The initial report claims that Charlie Sheen has spent over $5 million to keep his diagnosis a secret. The actor says he's unsure how much money he's spent, but confirms it is in the millions. Off-camera, he confided in Matt Lauer that it has been more than $10 million. There has been a connection made between the actor's well publicized break down, which eventually saw him fired from the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men and his learning he had contracted the HIV virus. About that, he stated the following.
"I was so depressed by the condition I was in that I was doing a lot of drugs, I was drinking too much and I was making bad decisions."
Charlie Sheen claims it is 'impossible' that he's transmitted HIV to another individual, either knowingly or unknowingly. But he does admit that he has had unprotected sex with two different partners, both of whom were told at the time and are under the care of his own physician. You can take a look at some of the video excerpts from the interview here.