Ex-girlfriend sues Sheen in first known lawsuit over HIV status

NEW YORK • A former girlfriend of Charlie Sheen on Thursday sued the actor for assault, negligence and emotional distress, saying they had sex at least five times before he revealed that he was HIV-positive.

Scottine Ross, 26, who said she met Sheen while working as a porn actress and later became engaged to him, also claimed he forced her to have an abortion after she became pregnant last year, and kicked and choked her on numerous occasions during their one-year relationship.

The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court, is the first known legal action against Sheen since he revealed in a television interview last month that he had been diagnosed as HIV-positive four years ago.

The 50-year-old former star of the TV comedy Two And A Half Men said at the time he had decided to speak out because he had paid about US$10 million (S$13.9 million) to people for their silence.

Sheen, who is three times divorced and has dated many porn stars, also said it was "impossible" that he had transmitted the virus to anyone else. He said he "always led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition".

His attorney Martin Singer said the actor plans to "vigorously defend the lawsuit filed by Ross. We are confident that Mr Sheen will prevail in this action".

Ross' lawsuit said she met Sheen in November 2013, when he paid US$10,000 to have sex with her. The couple had sex at least five times before she discovered his medications for HIV, she said. They later fell in love and had unpro- tected sex "like a normal couple". She alleged that he had several violent outbursts during their rela- tionship and that she was kicked, punched, put in a chokehold and had an unloaded gun pointed at her.

She is seeking an unspecified amount of damages. A spokesman for her law firm says she is HIV- negative.

Sheen said in November he had been blackmailed for years by people threatening to disclose his HIV status. He also appeared resigned to a stream of new lawsuits.

Under California's criminal statute, a person who knowingly exposes another to HIV through unprotected sex must be proved to have have a deliberate intent to infect them. The law means that criminal prosecutions are rare but civil cases can be brought on a range of grounds, including alleged negligence, emotional distress or sexual battery.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Ex-girlfriend sues Sheen in first known lawsuit over HIV status'. Print Edition | Subscribe