By Isadora Linheira
The former actor from “Two and a Half Men,” Charlie Sheen, said his bad-boy days are over and, with Tuesday’s declaration that he’s HIV-positive; he aims to become an inspiration to others.
“My partying days are behind me, my philanthropic days are ahead of me,” said Sheen in a letter posted online.
The manifesto was released after the former star appeared on NBC’s “Today” to say he tested positive for the HIV virus about four years ago, and thanks to a rigorous drug regimen, he’s healthy.
When asked by “Today” co-host Matt Lauer if he had transmitted the disease to others, Sheen declared, “Impossible. Impossible,” and insisted he had informed every sexual partner of his condition beforehand. He told Lauer he has had unprotected sex with two partners, both of whom knew ahead of time, adding, with no clarification, “They were under the care of my doctor.”
However, Porn Star Bree Olson, who was living with Sheen in 2011, claims the opposite. “He never said anything to me,” Olson said on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show Tuesday.
She said she learned of Sheen’s condition only in the past few days, prompting her to be tested. She told Stern the results were negative.
When asked by Lauer if he expected “a barrage of lawsuits” from past sexual partners alleging he infected them, Sheen said wanly, “I’m sure that’s next.”
With his public pronouncements, Sheen said he hoped to reduce the stigma and shame still felt by others diagnosed with HIV, as well as by those reluctant to be tested. He voiced hope that “others may come forward and say, ‘Thanks, Charlie, for kicking the door open.'”
Sheen affirmed that one reason for going public with his condition was to put a stop to shakedowns from prostitutes and others. He said one prostitute took a photo of the HIV-related drugs in his medicine cabinet and threatened to sell that photo to the tabloids.
He said he had paid “enough to bring it into the millions” — perhaps as much as $10 million — to buy their silence.
“Are you still paying these people?” Lauer asked him. “Not after today I’m not,” said Sheen.
Sheen did not address when he may have been infected, or by whom.
For part of the interview, Sheen was joined by his physician, Dr. Robert Huizenga, who said the HIV level in Sheen’s blood is “undetectable” and that he does not have AIDS. “He is absolutely healthy,” said Huizenga.
Sheen also revealed a dark part of his HIV story dealing with depression, “I was so depressed by the condition I was in that I was doing a lot of drugs, I was drinking way too much.” Sheen said that now he is not abusing drugs, though he allowed that he is “still drinking a little bit.”