'If you're going to misbehave like that, they're going to get you,' Reynolds said of Sheen in a recent interview

By Andrea Park
December 08, 2015 01:30 PM
Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage; Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Burt Reynolds is facing backlash after making controversial remarks about Charlie Sheen‘s HIV-positive status.

In an interview on British talk show Loose Women that aired Tuesday, Reynolds was asked by host Ruth Langsford about Sheen’s recent announcement that he’s HIV-positive. Earlier in his career, Reynolds himself was the subject of rumors of an HIV diagnosis. (Reynolds said in November that his way to combat the rumors was to “just keep working.”)

“He’s handled it badly, I think,” Reynolds, 79, said. “His father is a very, very decent man and a dear friend of mine. I feel bad for him but Charlie, I don’t feel bad for him. He’s getting what he deserves. If you’re going to misbehave like that, they’re going to get you.”

He adds, “He misbehaved badly. Very badly. But you know, when you’re that age, it’s tough. All those things are coming at you and it’s difficult.”

Twitter users were quick to criticize Reynolds, calling his comments “ignorant.”

Shaun Griffin, executive director of external affairs for the Terrence Higgins Trust told British newspaper 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.”

Reynolds’ comments come just three weeks after Sheen, 50, announced he was HIV-positive in an interview with the Today show’s Matt Lauer.

Since revealing the news, Sheen has faced a mixture of backlash and support from both his former partners and the general public. Most recently, former fiancée Brett Rossi announced she is suing Sheen for allegedly hiding his HIV-positive status during their relationship.

On Monday, Sheen filed for a dismissal of Rossi’s complaint. His lawyer, Martin D. Singer has denied Rossi’s allegations against Sheen.

“Charlie Sheen intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit filed by Brett Rossi aka Scottine Ross. Numerous witnesses will dispute each and every claim made by Ms. Rossi,” he said in a statement. “We are confident that Mr. Sheen will prevail in this action and also will recover significant damages against her in connection with a pending arbitration that was commenced months ago.”

With reporting by PHILIP BOUCHER and SIMON PERRY