Charlie Sheen, an actor who has become more of a cultural character than a figure of society, may be facing charges for an action that is as unethical as his public brand has become.
In an interview with the Today show Sheen said that he was HIV positive and that he has spent millions of dollar keeping his diagnosis a secret.
The way it was initially spoken of was as if everyone in his life including all of those he has slept with, a number of people Sheen says is near 700, and with new reports from inside sources rather placing the number closer to 5,000 , knew about the news, but as the story has come out some of those sexual partners have testified to the contrary.
Sheen says that he received the diagnosis 4 years ago and has been hiding it ever since. Bree Olson, an ex-girlfriend has been one of the more outspoken of those who have been rightfully enraged by the reports. Though she has since tested negative for HIV, Olson speaks on the true destructive potential of Sheen’s crimes, mentioning how this one act of deception could have led to not only the exposure of all of his partners but also to all of the people that his partners had sexual contact with.
There are certain precautions that have become necessary for those who have tested positive for HIV to take. One of these is to tell all of those who you have had sexual contact with about the diagnosis to allow them to be informed of potential risks, yet Olson and many others said that they never received even a text on the matter.
This then places all those who are involved at risk. It is an outspreading of events that could have all been stopped if Sheen had taken the appropriate actions rather than paying millions to keep his status from reaching the media.
It seems however that he will soon be seeing the consequences of his actions as it is reported that more than 75 women have already contacted attorneys to press charges for failing to disclose his HIV status, and some are also adding the emotional distress that has resulted from being exposed to a sexually transmitted disease unknowingly.
After 2011, in which the public saw Sheen’s quite public fall from grace, the actor has become somewhat of a joke, yet he was thrived by being somewhat self-aware of this. His sayings were plastered all over merchandise and were being quoted around schools and workplaces, but these irresponsible actions may signal the end of his fame as well as the end of his independent life with the cases against him gaining traction. These actions have been likened, by an insider, to him playing Russian Roulette with the lives of these women, a sentiment that Olson echoed in her response. She mentions that he was putting her life at risk, and though she didn’t catch it, there are still many who may have and will now have to face the life-altering implications.
The responses are still extremely varied as the problem has been greatly argued over the past weeks. Many point to the negative reaction as a sign of the prejudice and discrimination against those who are HIV positive, yet many who are aggravated rather point to the fact that he didn’t disclose his condition to his sexual partners. He has been placed in the forefront of conversation on the issue, which, after decades of silence, is now being discussed, of the negative experiences those who have the disease face. They point to the millions that Sheen paid to keep it quiet out of fear that he would be pushed away from society, an experience many without these funds have had, yet this isn’t the best case to point to. The conversation isn’t highlighting the trials Sheen went through but rather the irresponsibility that he showed in the face of it. As the case develops it is still unknown what the end result will be, but with such a wide-reaching effect, it will change the way in which these cases are dealt with in the future.