In the spring and early summer of 2014, former rapper Jacky Jasper – via his blog Diary of a Hollywood Street King – posted a number of items revealing Charlie Sheen’s battle with HIV. A few months later, the posts had vanished.
What happened? From today’s account in The New York Times by Colin Moynihan, with additional reporting by John Koblin and Noah Smith, it’s not entirely clear. A chunk of money definitely changed hands, but exactly who made those payments is murky:
A lawyer for the blog, Ronald Richards, was approached in July 2014 by another lawyer, Keith Davidson, emails between the two men show. Mr. Davidson had previously represented a woman who accused Mr. Sheen of abuse. Now he was seeking “a complete blackout on objectionable subject matter,” according to the emails obtained by The National Enquirer and provided to The New York Times.
Mr. Richards said that he did not ask Mr. Davidson whom he was representing. “It was irrelevant to me,” he said, adding that the posts were taken down for “business reasons…”
Mr. Davidson later thanked Mr. Richards in an email for “the prompt work of deleting and/or redacting the offending content,” and spoke of four payments of $15,000 being made as a result.
Jasper insists in the article that he was not involved in the deletion of the blog items or acceptance of payments. He points to a business colleague, Darrick Angelone. Meanwhile, a manager for Sheen, Mark Burg, says the actor “had nothing to do with the payments.”
It’s conceivable that one of the people separately receiving money from Sheen in exchange for not revealing his diagnosis turned around and brokered this deal. The Times article from there looks at how The National Enquirer and other media outlets jockeyed towards the eventual public disclosure of the actor’s condition last November.