Charlie Sheen admits: 'I am HIV positive'
Charlie Sheen has revealed he was diagnosed with HIV four years ago.
Earlier this month, reporters at Britain's The Sun newspaper claimed a "major Hollywood star" was suffering from the disease, and provided clues to the celebrity's identity.
Charlie, 50, has now come forward and admitted he does have the disease during a candid interview on U.S. morning show Today on Tuesday.
He also confessed he found out about the health diagnosis in 2011 when he visited the doctor thinking he had a brain tumour.
He told host Matt Lauer:"I am here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive, I have to put a stop to this onslaught of attacks and of sub truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me threatening the health of so many others that couldn't be further from the truth."
When asked how he was diagnosed, he replied: "Four years ago. It started with a series of cluster headaches, migraines, sweating the bed... I thought I had a brain tumour, I thought it was over, after a battery of tests, spinal taps... they walked in the room and said this is what's going on. It's a hard three letters to absorb, it's a turning point in one's life."
He claimed he was being extorted for money by enough people "to bring it into the millions", including a woman who found anti retroviral drugs in his bathroom and took a picture of them to get cash from the star.
Charlie admitted he has come clean to end the extortion. When asked if he is still paying people in exchange for their silence, he states: "Not after today I'm not... that's my goal... I think I released myself from this prison today."
He confessed it was a mistake bringing women into his home as he was hiding the secret, but the actor insisted he "was making really bad decisions" due to depression and addictions.
He also admits his meltdown in 2011, which led to his firing from hit sitcom Two and A Half Men, cannot be blamed on the diagnosis, adding: "I wish I could blame it on that, but this was on the heels of that."
Charlie has been married three times to Donna Peele, Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller. He has five children.