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Charlie Sheen makes a dark confession in open letter about HIV diagnosis

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Charlie Sheen's open letter explains his not-so-winning antics

Charlie Sheen has penned an open letter about his HIV diagnosis, and in it he revealed a sad piece of information that explains a lot.

In a follow-up to his interview with Matt Lauer in which he confirmed he is HIV positive, Sheen provided Today with an essay explaining that his extreme behavior during his tiger-blood days was caused by a desire to completely self-destruct.

"The personal disbelief, karmic confusion, shame and anger lead [sic] to a temporary yet abysmal descent into profound substance abuse and fathomless drinking. It was a suicide run," he wrote. "Problem was, I'd forgotten that I'm too tough for such a cowardly departure. Yet, despite this loathsome and horrific odyssey, I was vigilant with my anti-viral program."

Shockingly, despite his complete disregard for the damage he could be doing to his body, his HIV was kept under control by a strict treatment program.

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"My medical team could only shake their heads as each and every blood test returned levels revealing a state of remission," he wrote. "Even though I might have been trying to kill myself, one thing was radically evident; the disease was not."

Sheen also revealed that his habit of hiring paid companions opened him up to extortion, and has cost him nearly his entire fortune.

"In and around this perplexing and difficult time, I dazedly chose (or hired) the companionship of unsavory and insipid types. Regardless of their salt-less [sic] reputations, I always lead [sic] with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition. Sadly, my truth soon became their treason, as a deluge of blackmail and extortion took center stage in this circus of deceit.

"To date, I have paid out countless millions to these desperate charlatans."

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"Locked in a vacuum of fear, I chose to allow their threats and skulduggery [sic] to vastly deplete future assets from my children, while my 'secret' sat entombed in their hives of folly (or so I thought)."

But now, Sheen says, all that is behind him — and he plans to dedicate the rest of his life to philanthropy.

"My partying days are behind me. My philanthropic days are ahead of me," he wrote. "Ernest Hemingway once wrote, 'Courage is grace under pressure.' I've served my time under pressure; I now embrace the courage, and the grace."

It remains to be seen how Sheen means to put that plan into action.

Charlie Sheen's open letter explains his not-so-winning antics
Image: Nikki Nelson/WENN

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