Charlie Sheen - level 3
Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen has revealed in a TV interview with NBC that he is HIV positive. Sheen said he learned about the diagnosis four years ago but said it was “a hard three letters to absorb”.
The 50 year-old actor rose to fame in Hollywood in the 1980s but is best known for his portrayal of Charlie Harper on U.S. comedy series "Two and a Half Men”. This role made him the highest paid actor on TV until he was fired in 2011 for debaucherous behaviour.
Asked on NBC whether he had transmitted HIV to anyone, the actor said it was "impossible," although he admitted that he was "not entirely" aware of how he contracted the virus.
Sheen has struggled with drug addiction in the past and has admitted to sleeping with prostitutes. His doctor told the programme that Sheen does not have AIDS. The actor claimed that people who knew his HIV-positive status had extorted money from him to keep it secret. He said it cost him millions.
He proclaimed he would stop paying people now that his HIV status was public saying, "I release myself from this prison today."
Media speculation has been rife for weeks about the star's health. Sheen said he decided to go public with the personal news to put a stop to what he described as very harmful stories that were threatening the health of so many others.
Difficult words: debaucherous behaviour (debauchery is having a lot of sex, doing drugs and drinking alcohol), contract (to catch), struggle (to have problems with), claim (to say something that may or may not be true), extort (to get something by using force or threats), proclaim (to say publically), rife (intense, widespread).
What do you think about Charlie Sheen?
How to improve your English with News in Levels: