Martin Sheen is proud of his son Charlie Sheen, who recently admitted publicly that he is HIV-positive.

Martin Sheen Praises Charlie Sheen

Following Charlie’s interview with Today’s Matt Lauer Monday, Martin spoke out about his son’s diagnosis and decision to come forward while attending an event at the Ritz-Carlton resort in Naples, Fla. “It was the most difficult thing he’d ever done,” Martin said, according to the Naples Daily News. “And he kind of sealed it when he called Matt Lauer last week and asked if he could go on.”

Charlie, who had learned that he was HIV-positive four years ago, had been considering opening up about his status for a long time. His parents, Martin and Janet Sheen, had long hoped that he would follow through with his plans.

“He had been leading up to this sort of story for several months, and we kept encouraging him to do it,” said Martin. “And he kept backing away and backing away because it was like going to his own execution, I guess.”

“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,” added Martin. “He said, no, this was his and his alone.”

Martin, who has been open about his own past struggles with alcohol abuse, went on to express his pride as he watched his son courageously own his truth.

“This morning, as I watched him alone, reveal his deepest, darkest secret, I couldn’t believe the level of courage I was witnessing,” Sheen said. “And that it was my son.”

While Charlie’s disclosure of being HIV-positive will free him of the burden of secrecy and allow him to fight for HIV and AIDs awareness and research, it has also opened him up to a barrage of lawsuits. Already, at least 10 women have sought legal representation from an Los Angeles attorney to sue the former Two and a Half Men star for intentional distress, fraud and sexual battery among other things.

More than 1.2 million people are living with HIV or AIDS in the U.S. To learn more about living with HIV/AIDS or to contribute to fundraising efforts to fight the diseases, visit amfAR.org or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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