Danny Pintauro, who played the mop-topped Jonathan Bower on the ’80s sitcom Who’s the Boss?, has revealed that he has been HIV positive since 2003. The openly gay actor believes he contracted the disease from an anonymous hook-up while experimenting with crystal meth.
This is not your typical story of child star gone bad. Pintauro seemed to be one of the good kids. He went on to study at Stanford and continued to do occasional acting work after the series ended its eight year run. He says he was even comfortable with his sexuality, even though being outed wasn’t his choice. In 1997, a tabloid threatened to reveal that Pintauro was gay, so upon the advice of his TV mom, Judith Light, he beat them to the announcement himself.
This was before Ellen, Rosie and other gay celebrities came out and broke down barriers, though, and he didn’t take the opportunity to become an advocate for the LGBT community then.
Pintauro, now 39, sat down with Oprah on Saturday’s episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now?. He told Winfrey, “I wanted to tell you this a long time ago, but I wasn’t ready. I’m ready now. I’m HIV-positive, and I have been for 12 years.”
When asked why he waited so long to share this, he answered, “It’s just a big deal, you know? It’s not something that people are really talking about right now.”
He went on to explain, “I had just come out of a two-year relationship, and I discovered in that relationship that there was more I wanted to explore sexually. Crystal meth takes away your inhibitions…And if you want to explore that adventurous side, taking the drug is going to put you there. I was experimenting. And believe it or not, I thought that I was being safe in that encounter. I know exactly when it happened.”
Pintauro now lives in Las Vegas and has been happily married to Wil Tabares since 2014. Today he is dedicated to using his experience to becoming an HIV activist.
“I missed the opportunity to be a beacon of light for gay kids who were going through what I was going through,” he lamented. “What I want my community to realize is we need to take better care of ourselves.”
There’s been some whispering about Who’s the Boss recently as Alyssa Milano, who played Samantha Micelli on the sitcom, said she’d be open to a reboot. Judith Light, who played Angela Bower, also had a never say never attitude about it. No word if Tony Danza, who played housekeeper Tony Micelli, would be interested or not.
More in News
Sophie Turner Quitting Acting
The Game of Thrones actress has been done filming Season 8 since last summer, and apparently she’s been on a hiatus...April 17, 2019
Hoda Kotb Adopts Her Second Child
Following Tuesday morning’s episode of Today, the co-anchor announced via phone that she has adopted a second child, a daughter named...April 16, 2019
Wendy Williams Files for Divorce
Yesterday, it was confirmed that the daytime talk show host has officially filed for divorce from her husband of over two...April 12, 2019
Nipsey Hussle Memorial Service Draws Thousands
The late rapper’s ‘Celebration of Life’ is taking place at the Staples Center today, and TMZ is live streaming what’s expected...April 11, 2019
Charles Van Doren Dead at 93
Charles Van Doren, one of the most infamous TV game show contestants of all time, has passed away. Advertisement According...April 10, 2019
Kim Kardashian Taking Bar Exam in 2022
The reality star has plans to follow in her father Robert Kardashian’s footsteps by becoming an attorney, and she’s aiming to...April 10, 2019