Charlie Sheen: 'I'm all about making lemonade out of lemons'
Charlie Sheen is hoping to use his HIV diagnosis to "do something heroic".
The 50-year-old actor hit headlines last November (15) when he announced his health battle. He has now partnered with condom company LELO HEX as their latest brand ambassador, and told People that the business relationship is indicative of what he now wants to do with his life.
"I guess certain things happen for a reason," he said. "And maybe all of the stuff that I've done professionally, to garner such attention and fanfare and whatever else – good or bad – was sort of leading to a greater calling, a deeper calling, rather than fiction.
"I've usually made lemonade out of lemons. So this is another example of that."
Sheen initially struggled to accept his diagnosis. But after reevaluating things, he realised that he needed to put the negativity behind him and embrace the opportunity to do something "heroic" and contribute to something that "really matters".
"You can only walk around like 'woe is me' for so long before you either stay there, or you wake up and do something about it," he added.
Sheen first received the diagnosis in 2011, after he went to the emergency room with what he thought was a brain tumour. He held back on revealing his illness to the world, only giving in when people's attempts to blackmail him to keep the news secret became too much to handle.
"Going public? I had to. It was a personal prison," he explained. "There were so many parasites and traitors, that were allies at one point, that saw it as an opportunity for their own gain. I just thought: The best way to put a stop to that and to be free and alleviate all this other crap I was dealing with was to come out.
"A lot of it was about shutting down a lot of the blackmail and all that: It was getting too expensive, and I was engaged in that to protect other professional interests and family stuff. And I just finally said, 'There's no other way out.'"
And the former Two and a Half Men actor has absolutely no regrets about making the announcement, describing it as a "relief".
He is now hoping to redirect attention back to his acting career, and recently finished filming a drama based on the events of the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11 opposite Whoopi Goldberg and Gina Gershon.
"I'm not negating or belittling what I've done professionally because people need to laugh and be taken to places of suspended reality," he said. "People say, 'You're just making movies; you're not curing cancer'. But now I'm in things that are, I think, really about something important – things that (are) a matter of life and death. I don't know how much more intense it gets. There's been a whole shift, just in perception of it."
- Cover Media