Judith Light on Danny Pintauro’s HIV Reveal: ‘I’m So Proud of Him’

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Who’s the Boss?’ star Danny Pintauro is HIV positive.

After Pintauro revealed that he has been HIV-positive for 12 years on Saturday’s episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now?, the actor’s former on-screen mother told Good Day New York : “I’m so proud of him.” Light told the anchors at New York City’s Fox 5 that Pintauro, 39, has “kept me informed all the way along” both before, during and since he came out of the closet in 1997 and that, since that first announcement, “The world is different and it’s better, but we still need to have a more understanding and a more responsible and a more responsive and kinder society. Unlike countless other child stars who crash and burn before they can legally drink, the 27-year-old man who once played the tow-headed child sprite Jonathan on “Who’s the Boss?” was not dead or in jail. But after graduating from Stanford University and heading to New York, he was a bit adrift. “So as soon as I got to New York all that stopped and I suddenly went, ‘Who am I?’ ” he said in 2004. “I had no idea. It’s not something that people are talking about right now really,” Pintauro, 39, said. “I missed the opportunity to be a beacon of light for gay kids who were going through what I was going through because I was outed – it wasn’t by choice,” he said. And so he’s giving a different face to what is still a disease that has not been handled.” Light, 66, has been active in LGBTQ causes for decades and is currently starring on Amazon’s Emmy-winning series Transparent.

I should just give up on trying to find someone.’” The actor is now married, and he told husband Will Tabares about his HIV diagnosis on their first date, adding to Oprah, “If you’re paying any bit of attention, you realize that HIV isn’t a death sentence anymore. You don’t have to be terrified anymore.” He credited his “Who’s the Boss?” co-star Judith Light for encouraging him to speak with a National Enquirer reporter who, he says, planned to go ahead with the story about his sexual orientation whether or not he agreed to an interview. “It was the best thing,” he recalled. “‘They can’t misquote you,’ she said. ‘And as long as you give really responsible and mature answers, it can’t be a bad article.’ And believe it or not, the National Enquirer actually did a really fantastic, heartwarming article about it. We’re very separate people.” Work wasn’t necessarily the problem — Pintauro has been performing on-and-off since he finished college, even if only in modest productions of “Shear Madness.” Perhaps surprisingly, his sexuality wasn’t an issue either. I was shocked.” In a separate interview clip, released Wednesday, Pintauro discussed his experiences with crystal meth. “I would say, don’t do the drugs, for sure,” he said. “My goal is to make that known — that this is a big problem, and I’m not OK with it.

Pintauro came out “before everybody,” he said, on the advice of TV mom Judith Light, way back in 1997 after a tabloid threatened to do the job for him. I appreciate it, for sure.” Of his motivation to step forward publicly about his past dependency on crystal meth and his status more than a decade after his diagnosis, Pintauro told PEOPLE: “I am speaking out because I want everyone who continues to ‘tweak’ and party to know that it is not worth the price.

We need to take a step back, and we need to say, ‘Okay, here’s where we are, and here’s what we need to do to get our community back to that place of taking care of each other’.” Pintauro later expanded on his point, telling People magazine, “I want my community to wake up, stop being complacent and start taking care of each other. The young man, whose character used to confide in Light and Tony Danza on national television, told Oprah Winfrey in a dramatic interview aired over the weekend, about his crystal meth use and HIV diagnosis. “I went in for a regular checkup,” he said. “You know, as a responsible gay man, you’re getting an HIV test done every six months ….

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