Martin Sheen breaks down discussing son Charlie's 'courageous' HIV announcement
Published 19/11/2015 | 10:37
Actor Martin Sheen delivered an emotional speech honouring his son Charlie's announcement he is HIV positive.
The legendary star (75
"We didn't know until he walked on the set this morning that he was going to do it," he told Naples Daily News.
"I saw him Saturday night, my wife and I went to see him, to make sure he knew we were behind him, and if he wanted me to go, I would have canceled this event. He said, no, this was his and his alone.
"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."
Sheen was speaking at the CME Group's Global Financial Leadership Conference and said he encouraged his superstar son to make the public revelation, saying he had reservations as it felt like "his own execution."
In the interview, the Anger Management star said he was forced to go public after he was being extorted for money by several people in his inner circle, costing him an estimated $10m since he was diagnosed four years ago.
The National Enquirer was publishing a story this week which they had been working on for 18 months and the actor was keen to tell his own story first.
"'He had been leading up to this sort of story for several months, and we kept encouraging him to do it," Martin added.
"And he kept backing away and backing away because it was like going to his own execution, I guess."
"As a father, I dare say that if I were to ask, just a general question in this room, how many of you have children or spouses or nieces, nephews, uncles, clients, who are dealing with drugs or alcohol.
"I dare say that there isn't a person in here that wouldn't raise their hand."
Martin, who is a recovering alcoholic, urged those in the audience to reflect on how they treat those in their family battling addiction.
"So, I just want to encourage all of you that have children, spouses, aunts, uncles, clients, that are involved in any form of addiction to realize that it's a disease," he said.
"And if it they had cancer, you wouldn't think of them any differently. But most importantly, people, and I speak from my own personal experience, most people who become addicted are looking for a transcendent experience.
"They are looking for one, the other, God, whatever it is, and naturally they shortcut the journey because, the apparition.
"It belongs to the drug, of course, but the effort to find the transcendence in our humanity, our brokenness, to accept the brokenness and to rise with it, without the drug, is what we call recovery.
"And I hope that this day is the first day of the rest of Charlie's life as a free man."