Sheen paid out $10m over HIV
HOLLYWOOD – Charlie Sheen, former star of the hit US television comedy Two And A Half Men, said yesterday he was diagnosed HIV-positive four years ago and had been extorted for more than US$10 million to keep the information quiet.
Sheen, 50, told NBC’s Today TV show he was speaking out because he was being blackmailed, and to refute tabloid reports that he has AIDS and was spreading it to other people.
“I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of subtruths 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,” he said.
“I am here to admit that I am in fact HIV-positive,” Sheen said, adding he was “not entirely sure” how he contracted the virus.
“It started with what I thought was a series of crushing headaches,” he said. “I thought I had a brain tumour. I thought it was over.”
Sheen, who is three times divorced, played the womanising bachelor Charlie Harper on top-rated comedy series Two And A Half Men for eight years before being fired in 2011 for bad behaviour that included cocaine-fuelled partying with porn stars and a conviction for assaulting his ex-wife.
At the time, he was the highest paid actor on US television, with a reported salary of some $1.8 million per episode.
Asked whether he had transmitted HIV to anyone since his diagnosis, Sheen said, “impossible”. He said he had informed his ex-wives after getting his diagnosis. (Reuters)