NEW YORK: Former Two and A Half Men star Charlie Sheen confirmed on Tuesday he is HIV positive.
Sheen, 50, told NBC’s Today show in a television interview that he was diagnosed about four years ago. “I am here to admit I am HIV positive,” Sheen said. “It’s a hard three letters to absorb.”
Earlier, Hollywood went into a tizzy after news broke of an “A-list star” being diagnosed with HIV.
British tabloid The Sun, while choosing not to name the star, had reported that the actor was aware of carrying the disease for a number of years but did not disclose it to his countless partners.
The actor, who has had a “host of high profile sexual partners”, was said to be preparing for a legal battle now that news of his condition has become “common knowledge”. According to the report, his lawyers are “preparing for a raft of potential legal claims from previous lovers”.
“The reality is that if he’s knowingly put women at risk then that’s disgusting and it’s only a matter of time before that becomes public,” claimed the report.
“He’s also concerned a lot of exes and previous one-night stands could look to sue,” The Sun quoted a ‘US showbiz insider’ as saying.
The actor had previously refused to come out in the open, fearing his career and life may face severe consequences. “His worst fear is that he will be remembered not as a great actor but as someone who contracted the disease,” Radar quoted a source as saying.
Sheen, who is three times divorced, played the womanising bachelor Charlie Harper on top-rated US comedy series Two and A Half Men for eight years before being fired in 2011 for bad behaviour that included cocaine-fueled partying with porn stars and a conviction for assaulting his ex-wife.
The three times divorced Sheen then set up home with a number of porn stars he called “goddesses” and delivered a series of rants on YouTube boasting of having “tiger blood” in his veins.
Sheen, the son of West Wing actor Martin Sheen, starred in the TV comedy Anger Management, which was closely based on his life, from 2012-2014.