Charlie Sheen reportedly the HIV positive Hollywood actor
POLICE have said they will investigate Charlie Sheen over allegations he slept with women while HIV positive, it has been reported.
Radar Online executive editor Lachlan Cartwright made the revelation after the National Enquirer claimed that Sheen was the mystery Hollywood star who was reported last week to have been diagnosed with the potentially deadly virus.
Sheen, 50, has a string of high-profile ex-wives and girlfriends, including Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller, and has boasted of sleeping with more than 5000 women.
"Charlie thought he was indestructible and took no precautions - even though he was indulging in high-risk sex practices," a friend was quoted as telling the Enquirer.
Sheen is set to do a tell-all interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show in the US on Tuesday (early Wednesday NZ time), where it is expected he will confirm the diagnosis.
Network NBC hasn't confirmed what Sheen will discuss on the show, but The Hollywood Reporter suggested it would be a "revealing personal announcement".
Cartwright told TV3 this morning why they went ahead with the Sheen story.
"We learned just a couple of hours ago that Charlie Sheen is going to go on the Today Show tomorrow morning in an exclusive sit-down interview with Matt Lauer, he is going to confirm what we have been reporting on, and what we haven't been able to tell the public, which is that he is HIV positive. This is a measure by his camp to downplay the story, to spin the story.
"There are very serious ramifications for Charlie Sheen because we now know that he had been sleeping with women, in Hollywood, and not disclosing his HIV status, and that is a crime in California. Police sources are telling us today that they will now investigate this. We know that there were at least four women, four women who spoke to us that said they had sex, unprotected sex, with Charlie Sheen, during the period in which we now know he was HIV positive."
He said his reporters went to great lengths over 18 months to verify the story.
"We put people under polygraph tests, we verified their stories looking at their movements, their text messages, we've seen messages that Charlie had sent different women, we know that a number of these women were paid off, we've seen contracts to support that. This has been a very thorough and a very dogged investigation involving a number of reporters out of the Enquirer and Radar's team."
He said Sheen was in "financial ruin, which is extraordinary because he was at one point the highest-paid TV actor, raking in about $1.8 million an episode when he was on the top rating Anger Management. But we know he paid off at least $5 million in legal fees and pay-outs for these women, and that's going to increase after today's news because more women, we are sure, are going to come forward, and then there will be this criminal probe where he potentially faces charges. So it's an extraordinary story. He spent the last three and a bit years covering it up and today the truth has come to light."
Last week, a "Hollywood superstar" with a string of famous former girlfriends was reportedly outed as having HIV by the Sun, which reported the actor was unwilling to admit the diagnosis publicly for fear of lawsuits from the women.
The Sun claimed to know the actor's identity and reported an "insider" saying that it was something "he had known for a number of years.
"His lawyers are bracing for the threat of potential action. The reality is that if he's knowingly put women at risk then that's disgusting and it's only a matter of time before that becomes public," the insider claimed.
Sheen has been married three times and has five children: a daughter with Paula Profit, two daughters with Denise Richards; and twin boys with third wife Brooke Mueller.
He was also engaged to adult film star Scottine Ross last year, but called it off in October.
Sheen is well known for a string of wayward interviews he conducted after he was axed from his top-rating TV show Two and a Half Men in 2011.
He told the Today show he had "tiger blood and Adonis DNA".
During Two and a Half Men's run as America's top-rating show, Sheen was reportedly earning US$1.25 million per episode.
After he was fired, he was replaced by Ashton Kutcher, but ratings took a dive and the show finished in February this year.
Sheen went on to star in two seasons of Anger Management, which broke cable viewing records but ended in 2014.