For a long time, Charlie Sheen was defined by boozing, illicit substances, and debauched escapades. But now that he’s revealed his HIV secret to the world, he’s started a new life of inspiration, advocacy, and — most importantly — sobriety. He opened up about his wild past and his hopes for a new future in a no-holds-barred interview with RADAR.
DYLAN HOWARD: Did you ever consider that your wild, partying lifestyle might result in consequences like this?
CS: You know, hindsight is 20/20, right? I should have thought of it a little bit more. I mean, there’s nothing I can do to change it. But I should have been more responsible and more concerned for myself.
DH: Why weren’t you?
CS: Sitting here right now, I don’t really know. I wasn’t in the most responsible mind set, you know.
DH: Knowing what you know now, would you go back and change the life you’ve lived?
CS: I would change three things: one, I would have never started smoking.
CS: Because it’s one of the worst things for you and the hardest things to quit. Two, I would have never gotten a single tattoo. They’re hard to get rid of! … Three, I never would have done cocaine. I would never have started any of those.
DH: Why cocaine?
CS: Um, have you been following the media? Following the press? It’s a losing proposition!
DH: Do you ever wonder how you’re still alive after all you’ve subjected yourself to?
CS: It’s a bit baffling. I think if I find an answer to that, you and everyone else would love to know, including myself!
DH: You’ve led a rock-star lifestyle in the past. Where is Charlie Sheen at today? You’re still a rock star.
CS: Thank you, if you insist. But I’m not drinking and I haven’t done drugs for a very long time, and I’m having a ball.
DH: You once described your exploits as making legendary party animals Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger look like “droopy-eyed, armless children.”
CS: That would have been an overstatement! I would put them at the same level — if not a little bit further.
DH: You had told Matt Lauer you were still drinking at the time of your interview.
CS: I quit on the flight home. How about that?
DH: You’ve been sober for four weeks from booze?
DH: What about drugs?
CS: Four months drug free.
DH: You’ve boasted about being the biggest hell-raiser in showbiz history. How much have you spent on sexual partners?
CS: Hard to estimate or guesstimate, but with all the travel, I don’t really know the exchange rates!
DH: What about drugs?
CS: Funny, it’s not the drugs that cost a lot of money, it’s those bad decisions I made while I was on the drugs!
DH: What do you mean?
CS: The lavish accommodations, the private travel, the gifts for all. Yeah, you know, just bad decisions that I would not make clean or sober.
DH: Are we talking millions of dollars?
DH: Ten million? $20 million? 30 million? 40 million? 50 million?
CS: I wouldn’t know that.
DH: How close have you been or have you overdosed?
CS: I’ve never overdosed, came close once, but never fully went under.
DH: Is that because you went so far but stopped?
CS: I think I just got lucky.
DH: Superhuman, perhaps?
CS: I don’t want to keep going to that well. At some point, everyone’s luck runs out.