Fifty-year old Hollywood actor, Charlie Sheen has confirmed that his is HIV positive, ending months of rumours around his health status.
The one time highest paid television actor in America, was on Today show on NBC on Tuesday where he said that he had been diagnosed four years ago, and was speaking out partly to end blackmail which has cost him more than $10 million (£6.6m).
“I am here to admit that I am actually HIV positive. I think I release myself from this prison today.
“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.
“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.”
Charlie Sheen disclosed on the show that a prostitute who found his medication in the bathroom was among the numerous people blackmailing him.
Asked if he was still paying her, the Platoon actor said: “Not after today I’m not.”
He said that he had struggled immensely with the diagnosis, which he initially thought was a brain tumour. Since his breakdown he has admitted to sleeping with more than 5,000 women including porn stars, prostitutes, groupies and strippers.
“It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life.
“It started with what I thought was a series of crushing headaches.
“I thought I had a brain tumour. I thought it was over.”