Charlie Sheen has confirmed on the Today show that he's HIV-positive. In an exclusive live interview with Matt Lauer today (Nov. 17), the 50-year-old actor said that he's had the virus for four years. Reports swirled that he would speak to his health status on Monday, when a press release circulated stating he would "make a revealing personal announcement."
“I’m here to admit that I am, in fact, HIV-positive," the actor stated. “Four years ago. It started with what I thought based on this series of cluster headaches and insane migraines and sweating the bed, completely drenched, two ... three nights in a row. I thought I had a brain tumour. I thought it was over. … It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life."
The hell-raising actor has been open about his relationships with women and has discussed his struggles with drug and alcohol addictions in the past. His volatile personal life came to a head with a public feud with Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre, leading to his departure from the CBS sitcom in 2011.
“I wish I could blame it on that, but that was more of a roid rage," Charlie said of the professional meltdown. "This was on the heels of that.” Charlie also discussed paying millions of dollars to keep his diagnosis a secret.
Longtime friend Heather Locklear was quick to send a message of support. "My heart hurts. Prayers for Charlie and his family," said the actress along with a photo of the duo from 2000, which she posted on Instagram.
The son of Hollywood star Martin Sheen has five children – twin boys with ex-wife Brooke Mueller, two daughters with ex-wife Denise Richards, and a 21-year-old daughter with his high school sweetheart Paula Profit. He had no children with his first ex-wife, Donna Peele.
Charlie has spent most of the past year out of the spotlight and has not appeared on TV since his show Anger Management went off the air in 2014, save for a guest appearance on the ABC comedy The Goldbergs in February.
In 2014, Charlie proposed to adult film star Brett Rossi, but the couple split eight months later.
Charlie Sheen has spent most of the past year out of the spotlight. Photo: © Getty Images
His acting career began in 1984 when he starred in the film Red Dawn. He would go on to star in such classics as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Platoon, Wall Street and Major League. At one point he was the highest-paid actor on TV, earning a reported $1.8 million an episode for his work on Two and a Half Men during the show's eighth season.