Sunday, July 21, 2024

Charlie Sheen Announces He’s HIV Positive, Victim of Extortion, Paid “Over 10 Million Dollars” to Blackmailers


with updates

Charlie Sheen is in the middle of his two Today show interviews this morning, admitting that he’s HIV positive. Sheen has told Matt Lauer that he’s been the victim of extortion and blackmail, and has paid people “over 10 million dollars” to keep quiet. It’s an extraordinary interview as so far Sheen has told Lauer that of all the ways one could contract HIV, “needles” is not the way it happened.

Meantime, the announcement is clearly not the way Sheen’s publicist, Jeff Ballard, thought he should make. Ballard quit yesterday and ended a 35 year friendship with Sheen. Ballard has also represented over the years Charlie’s father Martin Sheen. Years ago Ballard was his publicist. In recent years, Sheen was repped by Stan Rosenfield, who also reps Robert DeNiro and Helen Mirren. But Rosenfield quit when Sheen began his “winning” rampage in 2011.

And the “winning”-“tiger blood” breakdown that Sheen went through and made headlines with seems like it was caused at least in part by Sheen’s diagnosis. “It was on the heels of that,” Sheen said. He also admitted that he’d had unprotected sex since the diagnosis, but that the partners were being treated by his doctor and understood the situation.

Sheen can only be congratulated for facing this on TV, it shows amazing courage. Whatever happened to get him to this place, his owning up to it now is remarkable. He will make it so much easier for HIV sufferers everywhere. And as I Tweeted yesterday by the end of the day you know he will be a spokesperson for amFAR, a group that loves celebrities. Sheen’s stock is on the rise. Wait and see…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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