Child actor, Danny Pintauro, dropped a sobering bombshell over the weekend. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey on an episode of OWN, the Who’s The Boss? star announced that he has been diagnosed with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. What is more, Danny said he hid his HIV-positive status for 12 years.
According to a report from CNN, Pintauro, 39, appeared in a Saturday Where Are They Now episode where he spoke openly about being gay, his past struggles with drug addiction, his experience with casual sex and his inability to cope with a fading career. However, the most astonishing part of the interview was his part in hiding a quiet battle with HIV. Danny said he received the gut-wrenching test results in 2003.
“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.”
Pintauro made the decision to reveal his sexual orientation in 1997. It wasn’t what he planned, but he was allegedly forced out of the closet because a tabloid threatened to publish a story about him privately identifying as homosexual. Reportedly, a reporter would publish his story with or without his consent. Danny reasoned the world should hear the news directly from him without the media spin.
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) September 27, 2015
During his child acting days, the world was in a different place, from a social norms perspective. Then, coming out as a member of the LGBT community was taboo. As a celebrity, Danny realized that being gay was tantamount to being blacklisted. Pintauro said that his HIV-positive diagnosis came as a surprise and left him with “weird feelings,” according to the New York Daily News.
Danny felt alienated in a world full of friends and acquaintances after he learned about contracting the virus. It left him feeling awful and afraid that he would not find a meaningful relationship or friends that would not judge him. Like anyone else, gay or straight, Danny Pintauro only wanted to find love at some point in his life.
After Who’s the Boss? ended after eight seasons, Danny Pintauro’s career faded. Over the years, he took on odd jobs; he even sold Tupperware for a living, like others drag queens. However, the gimmick was short-lived.
Thankfully, Danny was not consumed by his condition. Since his acting days, he’s graduated from Stanford University and found lasting romantic love; Pintauro married his longtime lover, Wil Tabares. Perhaps, he’s the boss after all.
[Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images]