Charlie Sheen, Porn Stars Are People, Too

Charlie Sheen, Porn Stars Are People, Too

It appears Charlie Sheen did not inform long-time girlfriend and porn star Bree Olson that he was HIV-positive.
Rich Cromwell
By

When Charlie Sheen went on “The Today Show” to announce that the rumors are true, he does have HIV, host Matt Lauer asked him, “Have you, since the time of your diagnosis, told every one of your sexual partners, before you had a sexual encounter, that you were HIV-positive?” Sheen replied, “Yes, I have,” adding, after Lauer asked if there had been any exceptions, “No exception.”

Except there were exceptions. Former live-in girlfriend Bree Olson was with Sheen during the period in which he found out he was HIV-positive, but she says she found out about the diagnosis later, “right along with everyone else.”

In an interview with Howard Stern, Olson, a former adult film star, said, “He never said anything to me. I was his girlfriend. I lived with him. We were together. We had sex almost every day for a year.” They even used protection. But that brings out another exception. At Sheen’s insistence, they used lambskin condoms. Lambskin condoms protect against pregnancy, but not against disease.

Olson’s Timeline Appears to Check Out

Sheen’s publicist is pushing back hard against Olson, claiming the couple had only been together a few months and broke up in April 2011 prior to his diagnosis. That contradicts Olson’s claims, and Wikipedia, which is never wrong, bolsters her assertion with these fresh edits.

It seems Sheen incriminated himself in his ‘Today Show’ interview.

On the other hand, in the interview with Lauer, Sheen said he was diagnosed around the time of the “tiger blood” incident of February 2011, which is also when Olson moved in. As she stated in her interview with Stern, their relationship started off as a friendship, so it’s highly plausible that her longer timeline is accurate.

Why does this matter? Sheen lives in California, and in that state it’s illegal to expose someone to HIV. Police have not received any formal complaints, including from Olson. While it is rare for individuals to actually be convicted of this, it has happened. A San Diegoan found himself in jail for six months after failing to disclose his HIV-positive status to his partner. Regardless, given the above timeline, it seems Sheen incriminated himself in his “Today Show” interview.

Lis Wiehl, appearing on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Tuesday, flatly asserted that Sheen did in fact incriminate himself. Kimberly Guilfoyle echoed Wiehl: “It’s incumbent upon” California to investigate, she said, and Sheen is “looking at a tremendous amount of liability.” As a man with a hefty bank account, Sheen has a strong financial incentive to make sure this story plays out in a way that prevents him from facing investigation and subsequent liability.

This isn’t about money, though, but basic human decency.

‘It Was Russian Roulette Every Day For a Year’

Of course, an adult film star is willing to engage in more sexual risk than the average person. The industry is also typically much more cautious about frequent testing, requiring actors to undergo monthly screenings. Testing is imperfect, as HIV antibodies can take a month to develop after exposure, resulting in a false negative, but it’s better than assuming everything is peachy keen.

She was his girlfriend and he was her boyfriend, and she should have been able to trust him.

Because Olson left the industry for Sheen, she gave up even that imperfect safeguard. She was his girlfriend and he was her boyfriend, after all, and she should have been able to trust him. Despite his lifestyle and history, he told her he was disease-free, and she believed him.

She even believed him to the point that, as she revealed in her interview with Stern, she consented to unprotected sex when menstruating. The couple only used condoms to prevent pregnancy, Olson explained, so that time of the month was all the prevention they needed. Or so she thought.

Sheen’s predilection for unprotected sex after a positive diagnosis wasn’t confined to Olson, either. He continued to press for it in his relations with other women. In his interview with “The Today Show,” Sheen admitted to having unprotected sex with two other women, though he noted that “the two people that I did that with were under the care of my doctor, and they were completely warned ahead of time.”

Cool? I mean, I guess that was their decision to make and it’s apparently not as risky as it sounds, but come on, man. Sure, the comedian who once joked that having sex with a condom is like eating steak with a balloon on your tongue had a solid point. Regardless, based on Sheen’s interview, clearly those two women are fine, and if we can trust anyone here, it’s Sheen.

Other Partners Charge Uninformed Sex

Except it’s not just Olson who is claiming that Sheen’s “no exception” comment was a lie. Natalie Kenly, the second of Sheen’s “goddesses,” alongside Olson, also says she was unaware of the diagnosis. She disagrees that he willfully withheld information, though, saying, “He is not a monster.”

Sheen called her his goddess, then risked her life by refusing to divulge his diagnosis to her even as he let it slip to others.

But there’s also the six other unnamed women who have retained a lawyer and are suing Sheen for failing to disclose his status. Granted, there is potential money to be gotten here and it’s highly likely some liars will emerge, but when one has admitted to a fire, it’s not controversial to notice the smoke.

Olson didn’t play innocent when discussing her fears and relief at the results of her HIV test. She said she made a mistake in trusting Sheen. There’s also the admission, both in the interview and corresponding text on Stern’s website, that it wasn’t a monogamous relationship: “‘I want to point out to all of the women who have slept with Charlie, because there are thousands, he used lambskin condoms and I don’t think a lot of girls realized that,’ Bree warned while disclosing that she witnessed a ‘stream’ of women coming in and out of Sheen’s house while she was dating him.”

This secret stream of women hasn’t exactly been good for Sheen’s bank account. He told Lauer he guesses he’s spent millions to keep those in the know from revealing his diagnosis. Or maybe tens of millions, which is technically still millions.

Olson herself isn’t after trading money for the stories she could tell: “He had his in and out girls. I was a true girlfriend that lived with him. I never went and sold any of my stories. He’s an ex-boyfriend, of course I have stories.”

The point of this statement wasn’t to earn accolades for loyalty, but to point out that she was trustworthy. Sheen called her his goddess, then risked her life by refusing to divulge his diagnosis to her even as he let it slip to others. This, for a man who gained notoriety for “winning” during the same time frame, is the opposite of winning.

Neither a Disposable Plaything Nor Unworthy of Basic Respect

Just because someone has sex for money on camera doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve a basic level of respect. What Sheen did is pretty much the absolute worst of what you could do to somebody in a relationship. It’s one thing if he didn’t know, but given his lifestyle he had to be aware of the risks. Just getting a blood test at his annual physical would be the bare minimum. Apparently, he didn’t bother with the test until he started suffering physical symptoms.

She spoke as a human being who was furious, shocked, and distressed that someone she trusted would play with her life.

When speaking with Stern, Olson’s tone varied, going from strident and angry to quivering and hurt. She spoke as a human being who was furious, shocked, and distressed that someone she trusted would play with her life. She’s right to feel that way. Her past choices don’t make her disposable, something to be carelessly played with because Sheen was too self-absorbed, especially as she was moving beyond her past for him.

As Olson herself said in a moment during which she unconsciously shifted from talking to Stern and instead began addressing Sheen: “I’m a human being. I have a family. I have a future. I mean, I’m doing so many positive things now and to think that you could have taken that away from me, that you knowingly were doing that.”

Yes, he could have. He could have knowingly destroyed this young woman’s future simply because he wasn’t ready to grapple with reality. Whatever you can say of Charlie Sheen, this is one area where he was not winning. In this situation, he was being a total loser. As a result, he could end up losing much more than bad-boy cachet.

Richard Cromwell is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter, @rcromwell4.

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