After countless rumors and endless speculation, Charlie Sheen appeared on the Today show to confirm that he’s HIV-positive, a decision the actor, 50, made after allegedly spending upwards of $10 millions to keep the diagnosis a secret.
“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, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” he told Matt Lauer.
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Charlie Sheen on Today (Photo Credit: Splash)
The Anger Management actor said he was diagnosed four years ago, but is unsure of how he contracted the virus that causes AIDS (though, Charlie’s doctor stressed, he does not have AIDS).
At the time, he thought it was a brain tumor.
Since then, he has confided in a small group of people, who have since betrayed his trust by extorting and demanding money to keep the diagnosis a secret.
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His decision to reveal his diagnosis — several years and a supposed $10 million later — was motivated by his desire to put a stop to the “shakedowns” and threats he’s become accustomed to.
“What people forget is that that’s money they’re taking from my children,” he said. “I trusted them and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful. My trust turned to treason.”
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
With his appearance on Today, Charlie explained how he hopes to put a stop to those payouts — as the people who threatened him will no longer have the valuable secret to leverage against him.
“That’s my goal… I think I release myself from this prison today,” he said.
Watch his Today interview: