Hollywood star Charlie Sheen has confirmed in a US television interview that he was living with HIV.
“I am here to admit that I am HIV positive,” he said.
It bring to an end days of intense media speculation. The former star of sitcom Two And A Half Men is appearing on NBC’s Today show.
“I have to put a stop to this onslaught this barrage of attacks and of sub truths,” he said, adding he was diagnosed four years ago.
The actor on Tuesday confessed that he had paid people millions to keep this news as secret. He said his friends, when told about his illness, resorted to blackmailing him leading to “blackmail and extortion and a circle of deceit.”
“I trusted them, they were in my inner circle and thought they could be helpful. My trust turned to their treason,” he said, adding a prostitute took a picture of his medication and threatened to sell it to newspapers.
“I think I release myself from this prison today,” he said adding that his use of drink and drugs was a “bad decision” but said it was “impossible” that he would have passed HIV on to anyone else.
Talking about how his illness was diagnosed, Sheen said, “It started with a series of cluster headaches and sweating – I was hospitalised I thought I had a brain tumour – after tests they said this was the situation. It’s a hard three letters to absorb.”
The actor said that his use of drink and drugs was a “bad decision.”
Sheen has had troubled marital life and has been married three times.
He first married Donna Peele in 1995 only to split a year later. His second wife was a former Bond girl, Denise Richards, with whom he has two daughters. He divorced her too in 2006 before marrying Brooke Mueller, with whom he has twin sons.