High-profile Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman says he was told that Charlie Sheen is in treatment, and that he's getting "good medical advice,” following tabloid reports that the 50-year-old actor is HIV positive. Sources tell ET the claims that Sheen is HIV positive are true.
"A very close friend of Charlie's had called me months ago, and talked to me about this issue related to Charlie," Bragman said. "I'm told that he's in treatment, that it's being handled well, and that he has good medical advice.”
Bragman sat down with ET on Monday, after news broke that Sheen was going to address HIV rumors during a live appearance on the Today show on Tuesday.
Following Sheen's decision to appear on Today, a tabloid report surfaced on Monday claiming that the former Two and a Half Men star has known about his diagnosis for the past four years. However, rumors of Sheen’s HIV status first began following the Sony hack. In a leaked 2014 email, chairman of Sony Pictures Television Steve Mosko wrote of Sheen, “it’s hard to be a drug addict and be HIV positive and do 40 eps a year.”
Bragman said Sheen initiating a discussion of about HIV could do a lot of good.
"What I can tell you is that if Charlie is indeed HIV positive and indeed owns it and comes forward, it can be a good moment,” Bragman says. “I’m sure it’s a very hard personal moment. It takes a lot of courage on his part to talk about it.”
Sheen has publicly struggled with substance abuse problems for years, and has attended rehab multiple times. Just last month, he was headlocked by security and kicked out of Hennessey's Tavern in Dana Point, California, in exclusive video obtained by ET.
In March 2011, Sheen made headlines when he was dismissed from Two and a Half Men after publicly blasting creator Chuck Lorre. The father of five's highly publicized "meltdown" and subsequent erratic behavior extended to his personal relationships, including ups and downs with his ex-wife, Denise Richards. Sheen slammed Richards on Twitter in June, calling her a "shake down piece of s**t doosh phace," and an "evil terrorist sack of landfill rash." The estranged former couple has two daughters together -- 11-year-old Sam and 10-year-old Lola.
Sheen's longtime Two and a Half Men costar, Jon Cryer, spoke to ET in April about the troubled actor, while promoting his tell-all, So That Happened. He said Sheen's infamous 2011 meltdown happened after he decided that the sober life "was not the life he wanted anymore."
"In the first few years of the show, Charlie was sober and he was married to Denise," Cryer told ET. "He was an incredible coworker. That's what made the meltdown all the more scary."
Cryer pinpointed the exact moment when he grew concerned for his former costar -- Sheen's 2009 arrest for domestic violence against his then-wife, Brooke Mueller, for which he pleaded guilty. Sheen and Mueller have 6-year-old twin sons together, Max and Bob.