How Charlie Sheen Confided in Lenny Dykstra About His HIV Status Long Before Going Public

“I was the only one who was his real friend,” Dykstra tells Howard Stern

In late 2015, Charlie Sheen made his shocking revelation on the "Today" show that he had HIV, but according to Lenny Dykstra, he knew of his friend's diagnosis long before the rest of the world and wanted Charlie to go public even sooner than he did. On Tuesday morning, Dykstra sat down with Howard Stern and described how the troubled actor told him in person about his HIV status.

"I was the only one who was his real friend," Dykstra said of Sheen, adding that Charlie told him he was HIV positive in 2014. The two had become close due to their mutual love for the game of baseball. But that friendship also involved some dark moments.

"I was the only person that would go and get him off the shit, you know, the crack," Dykstra told Howard. While he admitted to doing other drugs, Lenny says he never smoked crack and would never try to keep up with Sheen. After learning that Charlie had HIV, Lenny says he suggested Sheen go public with his health announcement.

"I said, 'Dude, you can't stop it,'" Dykstra recalled from the conversation he had with Charlie. Sheen eventually hired a publicist and allegedly planned on holding a press conference, but just before he was scheduled to step in front of the cameras and tell his story, he backed out, according to Lenny.

"We were one hour away," Dykstra said. "He was onboard and what happened was, I think the people all bleeding him talked him out of it." A few months later, Charlie was forced to go public after the press caught wind of his HIV status.

Read more about Lenny Dykstra's relationship with Charlie Sheen in his new memoir, "House of Nails," now available wherever books are sold.