Yesterday, it was reported that Charlie Sheen will be revealing that he is HIV-positive on today’s episode of NBC’s “Today”. A press release issued yesterday said the 50-year-old actor “will make a revealing personal announcement.” According to reports, Sheen has known of his status for “a few years.”
People magazine came forward with reports that Hollywood publicist and crisis manager Howard Bragman was approached by Sheen’s camp six months ago to handle news of his diagnosis.
“The interview could open up a lot of sympathy for him, but he has to be concerned about a fear of litigation from former sexual partners. You don’t take that lightly,” said Bragman.
He went on to say that the actor “is getting treatment, and a lot of people in his life know about it.”
“It’s been going on for quite awhile. He’s not necessarily comfortable talking about it. It was very hard to get up the courage for him to talk about it,” Bragman continued. “I’ve known about this a long time; it’s not a surprise to me. I feel very sorry for his pain. And I hope it’s used as a teachable moment for the world. This is a disease that can affect anyone.”
It’s not entirely clear why Sheen has decided to come forward now. While it hasn’t been confirmed, TMZ is reporting that he decided to make the announcement after he was threatened with multiple lawsuits by former sex partners.
However, actress Heather Locklear has Sheen in her thoughts. She took to Instagram to share her support for the actor and longtime friend. “My heart hurts. Prayers for Charlie and his family,” Locklear wrote with a photo of the pair together.
The troubled actor has five children, ranging in age from 6 to 30, in addition to three ex-wives: Donna Peele (1995-1996), Denise Richards (2002-2006) and Brooke Mueller (2008-2011). E! News has learned that both Richards and her two daughters with Sheen, Sam and Lola, are HIV-negative.
Sheen, who has had his fair share of troubles in the past, has stayed away from the spotlight in the last year, with his last regular TV appearance being back in 2014 for FX’s Anger Management.
The actor has openly dated multiple porn stars over the years, and has discussed his struggles with drug and alcohol addictions. During a videotaped deposition as part of Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss’s tax-evasion trial in 1995, for example, he admitted that he had spent $53,000 for “sexual services” from prostitutes over a 15-month period between 1991 and 1993.
And although he hasn’t been involved in any projects, Sheen still made headlines when he trashed Richards on Twitter, suffered a bout of severe food poisoning and considered a run for public office.