Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen has confirmed is HIV positive and has paid US$10 million to blackmailers to keep the information private.
Sheen, 50, best known for the hit television comedy Two And A Half Men, told comedy NBC’s Today show said he was speaking out to refute tabloid rumors that he has AIDS and has been spreading it.
“I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of subtruths and very harmful and mercurial stories,” he said.
“I am here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive.”
He said he is “not entirely sure” how he contracted the virus.
Sheen said he had paid “upwards of US$10 million” in recent years to “desperate charlatans” for their silence about his condition.
The actor, who is three times divorced and has dated many porn stars, said it was “impossible” that he had transmitted the virus to anyone else, according to Reuters.
He said he “always led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition.”
But former porn star Bree Olson, one of the “goddesses” who lived with Sheen for a year four years ago, said on Tuesday he had never informed her of his HIV status.
“Never said anything. Ever. ‘I’m clean,’ he told me. ‘I’m clean, I’m clean’,” Olson told Howard Stern in a radio interview on Tuesday.
Olson, who said she has since tested negative for HIV, made similar statements to entertainment TV show “Inside Edition.”
Sheen’s spokesman declined to comment when asked about Olson’s remarks.
Sheen played the womanizing bachelor Charlie Harper on Two and A Half Men for eight years before being fired in 2011 for bad behavior that included cocaine-fueled partying and assaulting an ex-wife.
At the time, he was the highest paid actor on U.S, television, with a reported salary of some US$1.8 million per episode.
He said he informed his ex-wives, actresses Brooke Mueller and Denise Richards, immediately after getting his diagnosis.
Mueller and Richards both issued statements saying neither they nor their four children with Sheen were HIV positive.
Sheen’s doctor, Robert Huizenga, said the actor “does not have AIDS” that he is taking antiretroviral drugs and that his viral HIV load was now “consistently undetectable.”
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