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November 17, 2015

National Enquirer Releases Cover Early to Beat Sheen to HIV Reveal

NY Daily News "Confidenti@l" gossip page reports: The National Enquirer beat Charlie Sheen to the punch when it released this week’s cover two days before the newspaper’s normal Wednesday publication date to announce [that Sheen] is struggling with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. [The issue itself will still hit newsstands on Wednesday.] A source tells Confidenti@l that the move was deliberate to stay one step ahead of the actor, who announced Monday he would make an “announcement” on the “Today” show on Tuesday. “The cover wasn’t scheduled to be released until Wednesday,” says our magazine insider. “They designed and rushed the cover out once they realized Charlie would come forward. They have been working on this story for months, and have known they were doing this cover for two weeks.” Our source adds that while Sheen’s team was threatening to sue, editors finally got approval to publish from the Enquirer’s legal team by amassing a trove of emails, texts and on-the-record interviews with prostitutes and drug dealers who have been involved in one way or another with the troubled actor. “They (The Enquirer) finally said, ‘Bring it on, we’re doing the story,’” says our source. “And they expect it will be huge. They worked on it for a year and a half.” The result is an eight-page spread inside the mag which [makes eyebrow-raising claims about Sheen]. Once told the issue was coming out on Wednesday, Sheen’s people tried to get ahead of the story by booking him on Tuesday morning’s “Today,” where he [revealed that] he has the disease, a source confirmed to the Daily News. NBC touted the interview in a press release as Sheen making a "revealing personal announcement." "Charlie has been keeping the lid on this story for months, years, and wanted it to stay that way, but the Enquirer had it," adds our magazine source. "His (Sheen’s) legal team has been dealing with The National Enquirer for weeks. That’s why the magazine first ran the story as a blind item last week. However, once the news about the interview leaked, the Enquirer hit ‘Send’ on the cover immediately."

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