Shortly after noon on Monday, NBC published a press release stating that during The Today Show on Tuesday, Charlie Sheen will sit down for an interview with Matt Lauer. During the interview, NBC notes, Sheen “will make a revealing personal announcement.” Huh.

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At first glance, this news does not seem particularly noteworthy. Sheen has always been a Hollywood “bad boy,” to put it very kindly, able to continue getting work despite his admitted history of drug use and violence. But following his dramatic ouster from Two and a Half Men in 2011, Sheen has been in the headlines less, only cropping up when he says something vile and disgusting about any number of women unlucky enough to have previously been in a relationship with him. In October, he was kicked out of a bar. He continues to tweet strings of nonsense in a strange haiku style, posting to what appears to be a social media site called “mobypicture.”

Sheen doesn’t appear to have had any projects in the works since his FX show Anger Management was cancelled last year, besides a guest-starring role on The Goldbergs. But even if he did, the words “revealing personal announcement” don’t suggest this interview with Lauer—who is known as a go-to in the daytime television world for those who want a sympathetic interview that comes off as hard-hitting—will be for work. (Sheen has been interviewed by Lauer before; the last time was in 2011, when he argued—in Today’s words—that he was a “changed man.”)

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Instead, they suggest that Sheen, who will be doing this interview live and in-person, has some sensitive information about his personal life that he needs to get out in front of without allowing said information to leak beforehand, the way it traditionally would if the interview was taped and teased by the network. (For example, the way ABC promoted the Diane Sawyer interview with Caitlyn Jenner.) And as The Hollywood Reporter points out, Sheen’s interview comes at a particularly noteworthy time: rumors have been bubbling up recently about an actor who is secretly HIV-positive, possibly infecting numerous partners, including those in the porn community. From the original piece published on Radar Online about this gossip:

Radar first learned about the star’s desperate battle with the disease in 2014. At the time, reps for the actor flatly denied it.

But in recent months the star’s horrifying plight has become an “open secret” again in top Hollywood ranks, with multiple sources coming forward to tell how he’d confided in them.

Radar also obtained a videotape in which one of the actor’s former partners revealed he had exposed her to the deadly virus.

“The article sparked a firestorm of speculation about the identity of the actor, and many readers suggested Sheen fit the profile,” THR writes, speculation that has been echoed by many other sites and comment sections. Update: The New York Daily News is reporting that “sources” tell them Sheen will indeed be confirming his HIV-positive status to Lauer, while quoting from a National Enquirer story on Sheen from yesterday.


Contact the author at dries@jezebel.com.

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