Social media has gone into overdrive this month with the news that Ant McPartlin has suffered yet another relapse and has been checked into rehab following a bad drink drive accident. Ant, one half of Britain’s most beloved TV duo, was involved in a three car smash up in West London on March 15 with a young child taken to hospital with her injuries. McPartlin, who was reportedly “well over” the drink drive limit attended Kingston police station and was interviewed before being charged. The presenter will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on April 4.
Ant McPartlin’s extreme drinking was driven by guilt over the marriage split from teenage sweetheart and wife of 10 years Lisa Armstrong. “He is not handling the end of his marriage well”, say friends. Meanwhile TV bosses are continuing with their popular TV show ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ without Ant and ‘his brother from another mother’ Dec will continue solo or with a co presenter. The duo have also been dropped as sponsors of Suzuki following the crash, losing the pair a cool €26 million contract.
And then who could have missed the tragic pictures of ‘EastEnders’ actress Elaine Lordan looking gaunt and a shadow of her former self – swigging from miniature bottles of wine in the street before midday. The troubled star, aged 51, who played Lynne Slater in the popular soap was allegedly fired by BBC producers for her alcoholism back in 2003. After a few attempts to get sober and a brief stint on ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here’ (she was airlifted out of the jungle after 2 days), Elaine checked herself in and out of rehab with her addiction spiralling out of control.
The shocking pictures below show the devastating effects of alcoholism. As she walked through the streets of London on her way to the nearest off licence at 11.40am (yes, 11.40 in the morning) she was unsteady on her feet and had to be helped up by a pal. Elaine was 31 when she joined the Albert Square cast members. She was originally a fitness instructor before landing the role as the eldest Slater sister. While friends and family thought the role was the making of her she struggled to cope with the attention fame brought and what started as a few drinks extra turned into a crippling addiction.
Elaine never discussed her alcoholism, her mother Bernadette did. “She will be seeing a professional for help. She is constantly in the public eye and working long hours. Drinking blocks out her stress,” she said at the time.
Elaine is not alone, while some celebs flourish in the limelight others find the fame and adulation harder to deal with. Here are 10 celebrities that have battled alcoholism yet luckily come out the other side. Hear in their own words how they have coped with the issues.
Bradley is known for his comedic film roles. But like most of us, Cooper’s life has had its ups and downs. He is a recovering from alcoholism and has been sober for over a decade. In 2015 he described how alcohol affected virtually everything in his life, “I wouldn’t have been able to have access to myself or other people, or even been able to take in other people, if I hadn’t changed my life. I never would have been able to have the relationships that I do. I never would have been able to take care of my father the way I did when he was sick. So many things.” Cooper’s statements attest to the fact that alcohol affects more than just yourself — it also affects those around you.
She went from “Barney and Friends” to pop star, but along the way she dealt with mental health struggles that led her to self-medicate herself into devastating addictions to drugs and alcohol. There was a time, she admitted in an interview, when she couldn’t make it 30 minutes without cocaine and would smuggle it with her on airplanes. With hard-earned sobriety now in place, she’s a vocal spokesperson for mental health and addiction treatment causes. “I had a Sprite bottle filled with vodka and it was just nine in the morning and I was throwing up in the car and this was just to get on a plane to go back to LA to the sober living house that I was staying at. … I had all the help in the world, but I didn’t want it. When I hit that moment I was like, it’s no longer fun when you’re doing it alone.”
The beloved star of the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise has struggled, like many other child actors, growing up in show business. While his character Harry was innocent and heroic, for Daniel Radcliffe, real-life challenges started affecting him, namely his addiction to alcohol. In a recent interview, Radcliffe stated how he came to the realisation that “the drinking was unhealthy and damaging to my body and my social life,” and how he had become “a recluse at 20.” He even admitted how he used to drink before going on the set, and how he confided in co-star Gary Oldman who’d also been addicted to alcohol. Despite now being sober, Radcliffe admits it’s not easy to maintain his sobriety at events where there’s alcohol. One of the greatest lessons he’s learned is that he had to want a sober life for himself. He stated in the same interview, “I had to stop myself. And stopping has shown me a world of happiness that I didn’t think was possible.”
Aside from her fame as Princess Leia in ‘Star Wars, Carrie Fisher was also well-known for her public statements about her health and addictions. In 2008 she even published a book about her struggles, called ‘Wishful Drinking’. She wrote “Happy is one of the many things I’m likely to be over the course of a day and certainly over the course of a lifetime. But I think if you have the expectation that you’re going to be happy throughout your life, more to the point, if you have a need to be comfortable all the time, well, among other things, you have the makings of a classic drug addict or alcoholic.” Indeed, alcohol is often used as a coping mechanism, and Fisher describes — in her usual humorous fashion how drinking can make this worse. Tragically, Fisher died of a heart attack in December 2016. It is thought that a relapse was partially to blame. Fans continue to mourn the loss of the actress.
A home video of a drunken ‘Baywatch’ star Hasselhoff went viral in 2007, receiving airtime on countless news programs and across the internet. His visitation rights with his daughters were temporarily suspended, forcing him to seek serious help for his addiction. In 2015, he said of his stint in rehab, “It is my responsibility to do the best I can and to take it one day at a time. But alcohol can become deadly. The scariest is when you go into a meeting and you’re like, ‘Where’s Steve?’ and they say, ‘Oh Steve died last night’. But you just met him yesterday! It’s a very scary, deadly thing that needs to be addressed.” Indeed, Hasselhoff takes his battles with alcohol much more seriously these days, and has also decided to transform his lifestyle completely with diet and exercise.
In a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey, ‘Parent Trap’ actress Lindsey Lohan admitted that she had used cocaine between 10 to 15 times, but alcohol was her biggest addiction. It’s hard to argue with her when you consider she has been arrested multiple times for incidences centred around drinking. She claimed that she didn’t even like doing drugs, but that she “had to do it because it was the only thing that allowed her to keep partying harder and for longer.” Woah, that is definitely the mindset of someone who needs to take a step back from partying. Lindsay has been in and out of rehab countless times.
Famous rock musician Billy Joel has admitted to struggling with alcohol abuse during most of his adult life. Drinking has, apparently, gotten in the way of his career and personal relationships. Fellow musician (and frequent touring partner) Elton John begged Joel to get treatment for alcoholism. In an early 2011 issue of Rolling Stone, John is quoted as saying that Joel needed to check into “tough” rehab, and that alcoholism was getting in the way of his life and career. In a 2013 interview Joel mused about his past drinking habits: “I don’t know why I drank so much I don’t subscribe to AA, I don’t subscribe to 12-step stuff. Sometimes I just overdid it … but it wasn’t consistent, it would be periods of time, during a divorce or something.” Even if the drinking wasn’t consistent, the binge-drinking Joel describes here is another form of alcohol addiction.
Horror novelist Stephen King struggled with drugs and alcohol for a considerable period of time. In 1987, King’s family and friends staged an intervention, dumping evidence of his addictions in front of him. King immediately sought help and quit all forms of drugs and alcohol in the late 1980s. He said, “There’s a thing in AA, something they read in a lot of meetings, “The Promises.” Most of those promises have come true in my life, We’ll come to know a new freedom and new happiness, that’s true. But it also says in there, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. And I have no wish to shut the door on the past. I have been pretty upfront about my past. But do I regret? I do. I do. I regret the necessity.” King’s not about to pretend he didn’t have struggles with alcohol, nor does he think he should hide it, either. It’s a part of who he is, and he’s been sober ever since his family intervention.
Mel Gibson has publicly admitted to battling alcoholism for most of his adult life. He was arrested in 2009 for driving under the influence. In a previous 2006 arrest, made on the basis of suspected drunk driving, the arresting officer claimed he made anti-Semitic remarks. In the past, Gibson sought professional help, and checked himself into rehab for his alcohol problem. In 2016, reported Gibson laying out the harsh reality that comes with thinking about quitting alcohol. “They say there’s only three options: You go insane, you die, or you quit.”
Russell Brand is not shy about his past, in which he battled significant drug and alcohol issues that nearly killed him. On top of this, Brand battled a rampant sex addiction. When asked how many people he had sex with in a month, he answered, “Work out how many days and, here’s a simple rule, triple it! I love it. I’ve a very addictive personality.” Brand’s commitment to sobriety is admirable though, especially when you consider it was one of the factors behind his divorce with Katy Perry. The singer was allegedly all about that party lifestyle, which, as you can imagine, would not sit well with a man who wanted to raise a family and move into a calmer phase of his life. When talking about his former addiction, he reflected on his personality as well, stating, “I have friends who can smoke weed, swill gin, even do crack, and then merrily get on with their lives. For me this is not an option. I will relinquish all else to ride that buzz to oblivion.”
These celebrities illustrate that alcohol is often used to self-medicate and to alleviate life’s stresses. Their honesty about their struggles are both heartbreaking and endearing. When alcohol consumption becomes abusive, it’s time to seek treatment. It’s important to address the underlying issues in order to treat alcohol addiction. Learn more about alcohol abuse and addiction, and explore treatment options to avoid negative health outcomes.