Charlie Sheen opened up about his diagnosis to Matt Lauer

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November 17, 2015 09:45 AM

Charlie Sheen told the world that he is HIV-positive Tuesday – and just days earlier, he shared his secret with his eldest child.

In an interview with Today‘s Matt Lauer, Sheen confirmed his ex-wives Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller have known about his condition, which he was diagnosed with about four years ago. Though his children with the actresses – Sam, 11, Lola, 10, and twins Bob and Max, 6 – are too young to understand what their dad is going through, the actor recalled explaining the sad news to his daughter Cassandra Estevez, 30.

“I told my oldest daughter Cassandra the other night, and I felt bad, it hit her hard,” said Sheen, 50, on Today. “But she recovered, and she s tough like her dad.”

Cassandra Estevez and Charlie Sheen
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“I said, ‘Sweetie, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, but it didn t seem like you could do anything for me, and I didn t want to burden you with the stress,” he explained. “But she was a rock star about it.”

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The Two and a Half Men star estimated that he has paid extortionists who threatened to expose him upwards of $10 million over the years – something that hurt his family more than anyone.

“What people forget is that’s money they’re taking from my children,” he said.

Mueller, 38, and her sons are not HIV-positive, her spokesperson Steve Honig tells PEOPLE exclusively, and a source has said Richards, 44, and her daughters also do not have the virus.

To learn more about living with HIV/AIDS today and to contribute in the fight against the diseases, visit amfAR.org.

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