The Charlie Sheen HIV interview, in 11 easy pieces
Charlie Sheen went public Tuesday morning, confirming on the "Today" show that he's HIV positive. Inconveniently, he spent quite a bit of time doing that, and he did it awfully early in the morning. Of course, it's there on video for you to see for yourself, but for those who'd rather cut to the chase, here's what you need to know.
- Why did he go to the doctor in the first place?
- Is this why he had that epic meltdown in 2011?
- Why is he going public now?
- Has he really paid out $10 million in hush money?
- Will he be continuing to pay those people?
- Did he engage in, as Lauer put it, "all" the risky behaviors?
- Has he had unprotected sex since being diagnosed?
- What was the most hurtful story he read prior to going public?
- Does he have AIDS?
- Has he ever missed taking his medicine?
- What's next for Charlie Sheen?
"It started with what I thought — based on this series of cluster headaches and insane migraines and sweating the bed, completely drenched, two-three nights in a row, that I was emergency hospitalized — I thought I had a brain tumor. I thought it was over." (Nah, just HIV.)
"I wish I could blame it on that, but that was more of a 'roid rage," Sheen said. "But this was on the heels of that." (Thanks, Charlie, for raising more questions with that answer. 'Roid rage?)
"I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks, of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories about threatening the health of so many others, which couldn't be farther from the truth." (Plus, the blackmail thing.)
Lauer's the one who threw out that number, which has appeared elsewhere as well. "I've paid those people," Sheen said. "Not that many, but enough to where it has depleted the future .... I don't want to guess wrong, but enough to bring it into the millions .... What people forget is, that's money they're taking from my children. They think it's just me, but I've got five kids and a granddaughter." (He finally told his eldest about it the other day. "She was a rock star about it," he said.)
"Not after today, I'm not." (Duh.)
"Negative. You're talking about needles, that whole mess? No." (Thanks, Charlie, for once again raising more questions than you answered.)
"Yes, but the two people that I did that with were under the care of my doctor, and they were completely warned ahead of time. " (See, romance isn't dead.)
"That I knew I had AIDS and I was intentionally spreading it. And I just thought, that's just as far from the truth as anything could be." (Plus in California, that would fall into the "felony" category.)
"Charlie does not have AIDS," said Dr. Robert Huizenga, who's known to TV audiences as the doc on "The Biggest Loser." "AIDS is a condition where the HIV virus markedly suppresses the immune system and you're susceptible to rare, difficult cancers and infections. Charlie has none of those. He is healthy ... he does not have AIDS." (Seriously, people, didn't we wrap our heads around this distinction a couple of decades ago?)
When it comes to taking his meds, Huizenga said, "We're petrified about Charlie. We're so, so anxious that if he was overly depressed, if he was abusing substances, he would forget these pills and that's been an incredible worry — and magically somehow in the midst of incredible personal mayhem he's managed to continue to take these medications." (Dude — Charlie's a "high priest Vatican assassin warlock," remember? What did you expect?)
"I'm not going to be the poster man for this, but I will not shun away from responsibilities and opportunities that are driving me to helping others." And when it comes to speaking out about HIV, he said, "I will pick my spots carefully and respectfully."
So there you have it. Well, almost. Sheen also confirmed that a prostitute snooped through his medicine chest and took pictures of his antiretroviral drugs, setting up a money-making opportunity for herself and also elevating bathroom-snooping to a new level.
"This is after I'd told her, 'Thank you for your time, we're not going to see each other anymore,'" Sheen explained. "It was after she'd spent the day at, you know, health food store shopping" — at this point he started cracking himself up — "getting me herbal, you know, medications. To help me out."
Why are we thinking that was a different sort of "medication"? Dude at least still has his sense of humor...
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