Martin Sheen Supports Charlie Sheen’s HIV Reveal: ‘It Was the Most Difficult Thing He’d Ever Done’

“I left him a message, and I said that if I had that much courage, I would change the world,” actor says of his famous son

Martin Sheen has come out in support of his son Charlie Sheen following the latter’s recent reveal of being HIV-positive.

“He had been leading up to this sort of story for several months, and we kept encouraging him to do it,” the elder Sheen said onstage during the eighth annual CME Group’s Global Financial Leadership Conference Tuesday, according to Naples Daily News. “And 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. And he kind of sealed it when he called Matt Lauer last week and asked if he could go on.”

Charlie Sheen admitted that he was diagnosed HIV positive four years ago in an interview Tuesday with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today.”

The actor said he was experiencing cluster headaches and “insane” migraines, for which he was hospitalized, before receiving the diagnosis. “I thought I had a brain tumor,” he said. “I thought it was over.”

“This morning, as I watched him alone, reveal his deepest, darkest secret, I couldn’t believe the level of courage I was witnessing, and that it was my son,” said Martin Sheen on stage with Kevin Spacey and Bob Schieffer. “I left him a message, and I said that if I had that much courage, I would change the world.”

Sheen went on to describe addiction to drugs and alcohol as a disease, just like cancer, and concluded, “I hope that this day is the first day of the rest of Charlie’s life as a free man.”