Charlie Sheen is slated to appear on NBC's "Today" show Tuesday morning to speak out about a personal matter, which according to rumors, is HIV infection. The announcement, which seemingly came out of nowhere, has left many wondering why he would come clean about his alleged medical condition now. New reports suggest the actor was forced to do so after being threatened with lawsuits from former lovers.
According to TMZ, Sheen, 50, has been aware of his HIV-positive status for more than a year. He reportedly decided to keep it to himself, confiding in only a few close friends. The gossip site claims that while Sheen believed his secret was safe, word quickly spread. He's now reportedly being threatened with lawsuits from former sex partners who say they were not told about his diagnosis when they were with him. Sources tell TMZ many of the cases have been settled out of court, with Sheen paying out money in return for the promise of confidentiality. One settlement is said to have taken place only weeks ago, in late October.
It was first reported that Sheen may be HIV-positive on Monday. The National Enquirer claimed to have spoken to and confirmed with several sources that the former "Two and a Half Men" star had been trying to hide his diagnosis. It was reported that he engaged in unprotected sex with several women all the while knowing he was carrying the potentially deadly disease. The magazine is publishing the full story in print on Wednesday, though Sheen's "Today" appearance is now scheduled for Tuesday.
Following the early reports, People magazine published a story saying it had spoken to a celebrity crisis manager about the situation. Howard Bragman, who said he was previously approached by Sheen's people, confirmed that the actor is, in fact, HIV-positive. Sheen has yet to speak on the rumors.