Charlie Sheen admits he fell off the wagon when he was diagnosed with HIV, but says turning to alcohol at the difficult time just ”made things worse”.
The 50-year-old actor was diagnosed with the disease four years ago, but only went public with the news late last year. In a new interview about his health on ‘The Dr. Oz Show’, which aired on Monday, Sheen admitted he’s determined not to let the illness break him, and is instead hoping to prove himself a role model for his children.
Revealing he hopes his kids will see the beneficial work he has done when they search the Internet for him in five years’ time, Sheen said: ”They’re going to see that dad is a true hero. That he helped a lot of people and continues to help people who can’t help themselves. ”I hope in my abilities to do something really positive with this.”
Prior to his diagnosis, Sheen had abstained from drinking alcohol for 11 years. But being told he had HIV caused him to fall off the wagon – with disastrous effects.
He said: ”It [drinking] was to suffocate the anxiety and what my life was going to become with this condition and getting so numb I didn’t think about it. It was the only tool I had at the time, so I believed … that would quell a lot of that angst. A lot of that fear. And it only made it worse.”
Sheen admitted on the programme that he spent upwards of $10 million paying people in an attempt to keep his illness a secret. But now the news is out, he says the revelation has proved helpful. He concluded: ”It’s been a liberating sense of freedom. I wish I had done it sooner.”