But that hasn’t stopped Martin from sharing some amazing words of encouragement with his son.
During a leadership conference in Naples, Florida, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, Martin revealed that he was proud of his son for the courage he demonstrated during the interview.
“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,” Martin shared, according to Naples Daily News. “I left him a message, and I said that if I had that much courage, I would change the world.”
Martin admitted that he had not heard back from his son, but he had called him again and left him another message with one of his favorite quotes. “Robert Kennedy once said, ‘One heart with courage is a majority.'”
He also said that he had known about Charlie’s HIV diagnosis for months.
“He had been leading up to this sort of story for several months, and we kept encouraging him to do it. And he kept backing away and backing away because it was like going to his own execution, I guess,” Martin explained. “It was the most difficult thing he’d ever done.”
In fact, Martin revealed that they weren’t even sure if Charlie was going to go through with the confession.
“We didn’t know until he walked on the set this morning that he was going to do it,” Martin admitted. “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.”
Martin also admitted that the interview left him “choked up,” especially when Charlie discussed his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction. Martin himself was an addict in the 1980s.
“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,” Martin said, encouraging the audience to find compassion in their own lives. “And I hope that this day is the first day of the rest of Charlie’s life as a free man.”