Actor Charlie Sheen has revealed he is HIV-positive in an TV interview with Today.
The star told host Matt Lauer that he was diagnosed four years ago when he was very ill and thought he in fact had a brain tumour.
“It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life,” he said. "I am here to admit I am HIV-positive and I have to put a stop to the onslaught and barrage of attacks and sub-truths that are threatening the health of so many others."
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 17, 2015
There had been much speculation in recent days that Sheen would make an announcement - but some commentators have criticised the media for putting pressure on Sheen to open up about his diagnosis.
Sheen said he has been forced to pay people who knew he had the disease and tried to blackmail him. He said the amount he has paid out is "enough to bring it into the millions".
Sheen said it is "impossible" for him to have transmitted the disease to anyone he has had sex with". He told Lauer he has had unprotected sex since his diagnosis but both of the other parties were in the care of his doctor at the time.
The 50-year-old has battled alcohol and drug problems for several years and has in the past boasted of bedding thousands of women.