NEW YORK (AP) — Former “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen says he has the HIV virus.
In an interview Tuesday on NBC’s “Today,” the 50-year-old Sheen says he tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS.
“I release myself from this prison today,” Sheen said.
Sheen said he’s used condoms since his diagnosis, claiming it was “impossible” that he could have spread the disease to partners.
Sheen said the first sign of illness was severe headaches that he believed might be a tumor.
Medical tests revealed the HIV diagnosis.
“It’s a hard three letters to absorb,” Sheen said.
Sheen said people around him learned of the diagnosis and tried to blackmail him.
“My trust turned to their treason,” he said.
Sheen says a prostitute once took a picture of his anti-HIV medication and threatened to sell it.
Sheen was accompanied by his doctor on the show. The doctor said HIV is undetectable in Sheen’s blood and he can remain sexually active if he uses condoms, calling saying there was an “incredibly low” chance Sheen could spread the disease if he used condoms.
Drug and alcohol use have marred Sheen’s personal and professional life in recent years. He was kicked off CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” in 2011 after an explosive meltdown that included calling the show’s producer “a contaminated little maggot.”
His escapades have also included the revelation that he spent more than $50,000 as a client of “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss’ prostitution ring.
“Two and a Half Men” debuted in 2003 and starred Sheen as womanizing bachelor Charlie Harper. It made Sheen one of TV’s highest-paid actors and at its peak was TV’s most-watched sitcom.