Troubled actor Charlie Sheen confirmed Tuesday morning on the Today show that he is HIV positive and that he was diagnosed four years ago.
"It's a hard three letters to absorb. It's a turning point in one's life," Sheen told Matt Lauer.
As Metro reported on Monday, the actor was rumored to announce his status on the NBC morning news show after The National Enquirer reported the actor’s health status and his years of “hiding the diagnosis and allegedly engaging in unprotected sex with unsuspecting women."
“I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths 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," the actor said, possibly referring to the National Enquirer’s coverage.
Sheen told Lauer that he had revealed his status to those whom he thought he could trust, but instead faced attempted extortion to keep his status a secret.
"What people forget is that it's money taken from my children," he explained.
“I trusted them and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful, my trust turned to their treason," he said.
Sheen told Lauer that he had unprotected sex with two women, both of whom knew of his status and were under medical care.
Sheen hopes that his coming out will help dispel what stigma remains around HIV, telling Laurer "I have a responsibility now to better myself and to help a lot of other people and hopefully with what we're doing today others will come forward and say, thanks Charlie."
Matt Lee is a Web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on Twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely@mattlee2669.