Charlie Sheen’s father, Martin Sheen, has praised his son following the actor’s confirmation he is living with HIV.
“I couldn’t believe the level of courage I was witnessing,” Martin Sheen, 75, said at an event in Florida.
“I hope that this day is the first day of the rest of Charlie’s life as a free man,” Charlie Sheen’s father is quoted as saying by the Naples Daily News.
Charlie Sheen, 50, ended days of intense media speculation by confirming he is HIV positive on NBC’s Today show.
“I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths,” Charlie Sheen told Matt Lauer, adding he was diagnosed in 2011.
“It’s a hard three letters to absorb,” the actor went on, saying his “shame and anger” at the initial diagnosis led to “substance abuse and fathomless drinking”.
Charlie Sheen said he felt “the responsibility to better myself and help a lot of other people”.
“With what we’re doing today, others may come up and say, <<Thanks Charlie, thanks for kicking the door open>>,” he said in an interview broadcast on November 17.
“He had been leading up to this… for several months, and we kept encouraging him to do it,” Martin Sheen revealed at the Global Financial Leadership Conference on the same day.
“He kept backing away and backing away because it was like going to his own execution, I guess. It was the most difficult thing he’d ever done.”
Martin Sheen, who was appearing at a panel event with House of Cards star Kevin Spacey, said he felt “a great sense of relief” his son had chosen to make his public admission.
“I left him a message, and I said that if I had that much courage, I would change the world.”
Martin Sheen appeared alongside his son in 1987’s Wall Street and again in the 1993 comedy Hot Shots! Part Deux.
Charlie Sheen’s father played a fictional president in The West Wing, a TV drama that ran for seven seasons.