Burt Reynolds criticised for claiming Charlie Sheen 'deserves HIV'

The Terrence Higgins Trust said the comments were 'completely unnecessary'

Olivia Blair
Tuesday 08 December 2015 16:35
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Burt Reynolds on Loose Women

Burt Reynolds has been criticised for saying Charlie Sheen deserves his HIV-positive status because he “misbehaved very badly”.

Reynolds made the highly controversial comments when answering questions from Ruth Langsford and Coleen Nolan on the Loose Women panel show on Tuesday.

Langsford asked him about the 1980s rumours that he was dying of Aids and if, consequently, he feels sorry for Sheen in the wake of his HIV-positive disclosure.

“He’s handled it badly,” Reynolds responded, “His father [Martin Sheen] is a very, very decent man and a good friend of mine. I do feel bad for him. But Charlie, I don’t feel bad for him, he’s getting what he deserves.

“If you’re gonna misbehave like that then they’re gonna get you."

When Langsford clarified that he had no sympathy for Sheen, Reynolds replied: “Charlie? No. He deserves it. He misbehaved badly, very badly.

“But you know when you’re that age its tough, all those things are coming at you and it’s difficult.”

Television viewers immediately took to social media to express their shock at the comments:

Sheen disclosed his HIV-positive status in a live interview a little over two weeks ago following much speculation and tabloid claims that an unidentified high-profile actor was carrying the virus.

Divulging he was diagnosed with the virus around four years ago, Sheen said he was making a public announcement following the betrayal of a number of close confidants.

“I’m here to say that I’m HIV positive and to put an end to this onslaught of baseless attacks, sub-truths and harmful stories,” he said.

Shaun Griffin, executive director of external affairs for the Terrence Higgins Trust told the Independent: “The comments made today on Charlie Sheen’s HIV status are completely unnecessary. It is not right for anybody to be deemed ‘deserving’ of HIV, or any health condition.

“Nor is it correct for any of us to judge how a person becomes HIV positive, or speculate on its inevitability.”

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