Nicole Richie’s Struggle With Addiction

Nicole Richie is the adopted daughter of award-winning singer-songwriter, Lionel Richie. She was also a reality tv personality- starring with Paris Hilton in the show “The Simple Life”. Growing up in the spotlight and living a privileged life in Beverly Hills, Nicole felt like she had seen everything at a young age which led to her drug use. In an interview with Diane Sawyer in 2007, Nicole explained, “I kind of took matters into my own hands and was creating drama in a very dangerous way. I think I was just bored, I had seen everything- especially when you’re young, you just want more.”

The drug experimentation in her teens resulted in alcoholism, cocaine, and heroin addiction in her early 20s. Among her drug addiction, she was also plagued with rumors of a co-occurring eating disorder due to her frail appearance. The hard drug use was accompanied by constant partying and legal problems. In 2002, she was arrested after a fight in a New York City nightclub, in which the charges were later dropped. Then, in 2003, she was again arrested in Malibu for possession of heroin and driving unlicensed. After the 2003 arrest, Richie checked into addiction treatment and was sentenced to three years probation.

Three years later, Richie was arrested again in 2006 while driving after failing a sobriety test and charged with driving under the influence. After the arrest, she admitted to using Vicodin and marijuana before the incident and was sentenced to four days in jail. She ended up only serving 82 minutes behind bars.

Like any other family members of individuals struggling with addiction, her famous father blamed himself. In the same interview, Sawyer quoted Lionel Richie as stating “I think I wasn’t a good dad”, claiming that he believed that his job as a father was to bring in the money, so he spent most time touring rather than being home with Nicole. Nicole responded, “I never blamed him, I think I blamed myself.”

Numerous celebrities have struggled with heroin addiction. For this reason, many young people often romanticize drug use and fail to see its negative consequences. But some famous heroin users ultimately lost their lives. Others have managed to recover and share their stories of hope with their fans. You can read about some of them below.

Cory Monteith

This Canadian actor and musician was famous for his role as Finn Hudson on the Fox television show Glee. Monteith struggled with substance abuse since the age of 13. His drug use was constantly getting him into trouble, and he ended up going to more than 12 schools by the age of 16. He first entered rehab at the age of 19. Then, after another intervention from his costars on Glee in March 2013, he re-entered rehab and completed it in April, only to ultimately pass away in July from a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol.1,12

Russell Brand

The British actor, comedian, and activist publicly speaks about his struggles with heroin addiction, as well as advocates for policy change for drug abuse. He made a documentary for BBC Three television network titled Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery. In this documentary, Brand discusses his personal battles with addiction and how the death of his friend Amy Winehouse inspired him to explore the condition. Brand believes that addiction is a misunderstood disease that should be treated rather than criminalized. Just recently he released an addiction guidebook titled Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions.2

Anthony Kiedis

The lead singer of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis is well known for his struggles with substance abuse, particularly heroin and cocaine. Kiedis grew up surrounded by drugs and alcohol and used marijuana and cocaine with his father. His heavy drug use during the early years of the Red Hot Chili Peppers caused the band to temporarily replace him. He reports being clean and sober since 2000. The famous Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Under the Bridge” is based on a poem he wrote about his heroin addiction.3

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain was an American musician and founder of the ’90s grunge band Nirvana. He died of suicide in 1994 after shooting himself with a 20-gauge shotgun. Large amounts of heroin and traces of Valium were found in his bloodstream. Despite his fame and success, or perhaps in part because of it, he struggled with chronic drug use and depression for many years. A week prior to his suicide, he spent 2 days in the Exodus Recovery Center, before escaping by jumping over the center’s 6-foot fence.4

Robert Downey Jr.

This American actor is famous for his leading roles in Ironman as well as many other films. However, Downey struggled with heroin and cocaine addiction for more than a decade. His erratic, drug-induced behavior during that time was widely publicized. He famously woke up in an 11-year-old neighbor’s bed in 1996; he was also arrested on another occasion for impaired driving while naked and hallucinating. He has spent time in prison and was fired from his role on Ally McBeal due to his substance abuse. In 2005, he entered therapy and began attending 12-step meetings. He also credits meditation and martial arts for helping him overcome his drug addiction.5

More Articles On Famous Addicts

  • Celeb Drug Addicts
  • Well-Known Alcoholics
  • Marijuana Use in the Industry
  • Celebrity Cocaine Abuse

Miles Davis

Miles Davis is perhaps one of the most famous jazz musicians of all time. Yet he is also known for his polysubstance abuse. He reports a relationship with heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and other illicit and prescription drugs spanning many years of his life. His substance abuse destroyed his health, relationships, and negatively impacted his musical career. Fortunately, he eventually found sobriety, crediting boxer Sugar Ray Robinson for his inspiration to get clean.6,13

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie, the American TV personality and daughter of musician Lionel Richie, has spoken publicly about her addiction to both heroin and cocaine. She reports that boredom led her to drug use. Because everything always came so easily to her, she found a need to create drama. Her partying lifestyle led to heroin addiction in her early twenties, but she told People she has been clean for several years.7

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie, the famous actress, mother, and ex-wife of Brad Pitt, has admitted to difficulties with drugs and alcohol in the past, but declined to go into much detail. She told 60 minutes, “I went through heavy, darker times and I survived them. I didn’t die young, so I’m very lucky.” In 2014, a leaked video of her allegedly under the influence of heroin made its way onto the Internet. Franklin Meyer, the man who posted the video, claims that he used to sell her cocaine and heroin 2 or 3 times a week for years.8,9

Janis Joplin

This popular American rock singer of the 1960s died at the age of 27 from a heroin overdose while at the height of her musical career. Janis also struggled with amphetamine addiction and frequently drank alcohol and took other drugs.10

Chris Farley

Well known for his role on Saturday Night Live, Chris Farley was an American actor and comedian who died of an overdose combination of cocaine and morphine at the age of 33. He was found dead after a 4-day alcohol and drug binge. While he reportedly said he wanted to “live fast and die young,” he did make several efforts to get clean. He was in and out of rehab more than 17 times before he died, but struggled to maintain long-term sobriety.11 He was known to abuse heroin, and police found a foil packet containing a white powder under his body when he died.14


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Suffering through addiction—no matter what you’re addicted to—is difficult. For me, the hardest part was the shame I felt for being a person with addiction in the first place. I spent a lot of time silently suffering before I could admit that I needed help. This turned out to be a vicious cycle—the stigma of addiction made me feel bad about myself, which led me to soothe those feelings with more alcohol.

But now, in recovery, it’s important for me to speak out about addiction, and to fight the stigma. I take comfort in seeing those with a larger platform than my own, like celebrities, speaking out against the stigma, too. I especially have long admired Demi Lovato for being honest about her struggle with addiction and, when she relapsed this summer, I became an even bigger fan of hers because I know that relapse happens to many of us and it’s what we do afterward that matters most.

It’s never easy to face addiction, especially when you’re in the spotlight. Yet hundreds of celebrities have gone through recovery, and come out the other side. Some become sober and stay silent about it (which, is completely valid) but many speak out in hopes that they can help others who may be going through a similar experience. These folks embolden me to do the same. Here are some of the most notable celebrities in recovery who continue to battle the stigma of addiction.

1. Demi Lovato

Image by ddlovato/Instagram

Demi Lovato has been a powerful advocate for fighting the stigma of addiction and mental health. She has been outspoken about her sobriety and mental illness, including putting a wellness treatment program at the forefront of her last tour and opening up about her struggles in her 2017 documentary, Simply Complicated.

“You just have to take it one day at a time,” she said in September 2017. “Some days are easier than others and some days you forget about drinking and using, but for me, I work on my physical health, which is important, but my mental health as well.”

In July 2018, Lovato had an apparent drug overdose, which sent her back into rehab. But she’s recently made a quiet comeback on Instagram to let fans know she’s doing okay. Although news of her episode was devastating to fans, Lovato is currently healing and no doubt preparing to continue to be an advocate for dispelling the myths and stereotypes of recovery and mental health. I am hoping that she will come back stronger than ever.

2. Russell Brand

Image by trewrussellbrand/Instagram

British stand-up comedian and Katy Perry’s ex-husband, Russell Brand, was once known for his philandering and drug abusing ways. He has admitted that his drug addiction started as a child and his comedy is littered with stories of past misbehavior. Brand has been in recovery for about 15 years and has become very open about breaking the grip addiction had on his life. He’s even written a book about his journey, titled Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions. Recovery tackles all kinds of addictions, including drugs and alcohol, social media, pornography, and more.

“We have been taught that freedom is the freedom to pursue our petty, trivial desires. Real freedom is freedom from our petty, trivial desires,” Brand writes.

He continues his recovery advocacy work through his writing, podcast and most recent Netflix special, Re: Birth.

3. Nicole Richie

Image by nicolerichie/Instagram

Nicole Richie started using drugs and alcohol after her parents’ divorce, when she admits to Elle that things “started to go south.” She did cocaine and prescription pills in high school, partied her way through college, and spent a month in rehab for heroin addiction shortly before sobering up for the initial filming of The Simple Life with Paris Hilton (which premiered in December 2003).

Five years after the show garnered her global fame, Richie opened up on 20/20 about the boredom of her teen years which led to drug use — and how she decided to get help in her early 20s.

“I, again, made the decision for myself, this is something I have to do. I have to get off drugs,” she said on the show. “This isn’t the life … this was heroin.”

These days, Richie maintains that she has “no choice” but to be honest when it comes to her past drug use, even when it comes to her kids.

“My past is out there. I have no choice but to be honest,” Richie told You Magazine in 2017, clarifying that she hopes to use her past drug use to teach her children about the dangers of drug use as they get older. “What I can do is use that experience as a tool for when my kids get older. They know that people have died from drugs because they go to school and it happens.”

4. Kelly Osbourne

Image by kellyosbourne/Instagram

Kelly Osbourne’s first stint with substance abuse began early. She began to abuse Vicodin at the age of 16, and eventually began to drink heavily and take drugs more frequently. At the height of her addiction, she has admitted to taking 60 Vicodin a day. Osbourne began to speak out again after news of Lovato’s relapse, talking about her own past struggles with addiction. She spoke about difficult it is for people who are open about their addictions to relapse so publicly, and how she overcame her own struggles.

“After 30 days, I left rehab. For the first time, I felt hopeful. I knew I’d been given another chance at my life, at my career, at happiness. I wanted to grab it,” the then 26-year-old wrote in her book, Fierce.

Today, she continues to be candid about her experiences with addiction and recovery, helping to fight the stigma along the way. She recently celebrated two years sober, writing on Instagram that she feels “overwhelmed with gratitude.” She also shared a valuable piece of advice with her fans: “If you are new to sobriety, stick to it. Life really does get good.”

5. Jason Biggs

Image by biggsjason/Instagram

Jason Biggs may not have been the loudest voice in the room about addiction and recovery, but he recently revealed on Instagram that he is one year sober. Biggs posted a photo of his one-year chip from Alcoholics Anonymous, saying that he admits that recovery is hard, but not impossible.

“I first tried to get sober over 5 years ago, when the weight of my obsession with booze and drugs became too heavy for me to handle. Turns out this shit is hard,” he wrote. “After some fits and starts, I’ve managed to put together one year of sobriety. I’m as proud of it as anything in my life. If you’re struggling, know there’s help. Don’t be ashamed. We can do this.”

Most recently, he opened up on Dax Shepard’s podcast about how his alcohol abuse led to some tasteless tweets, which ultimately led him to lose a job. Although he is newly sober, his openness about his past has garnered him new fans in the recovery community.

6. Elizabeth Vargas

Image by evargastv/Instagram

Elizabeth Vargas, the 20/20 and longtime ABC News anchor recounts her history of alcohol use disorder and anxiety in her memoir, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction. Vargas’ book reveals her struggle with panic attacks and provides an honest discussion about her experience in rehab.

“Rehab isn’t what finally got me sober,” she said to People magazine. “It was nearly losing everything and finally seeing that whatever benefit I thought alcohol gave me was outweighed by what it would cost me.”

Other than her memoir, Vargas continues to talk about her experiences with alcohol use disorder and most recently served as the keynote speaker at The Magdalen’s House’s Leave a Legacy 2018, where she emphasized supporting women who are dealing with addiction.

7. Dax Shepard

Image by daxshepard/Instagram

Dax Shepard, the actor, podcast host, and one half of my favorite Hollywood couple (alongside his ever-adorable partner, Kristen Bell), has been surprisingly candid about his recovery journey. Recently, he celebrated 14 years sober and continues to speak out about sobriety. Before he got sober, he admitted that he “loved cocaine and Jack Daniel’s” but found recovery through 12-step meetings, which he advocates for on his Twitter account.

“I think a lot of ex-addicts, they find a lot of humor in what they did because they lived through it,” he said.

Most recently, Shepard has reached a new audience through his podcast, where he opens up about his own recovery experience and often brings in “experts” to talk about addiction and sobriety with humor and genuineness.

8. Carrie Fisher

Image by carrieffisher/Twitter

Before she passed away from a heart attack in 2016 at the age of 60, Fisher was an advocate for recovery, as well as fighting the stigma of addiction and mental health. Upon Fisher’s death, her daughter, Billie Lourd, said that her mother “battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life,” and that she “ultimately died of it.” Fisher’s memory lives on for many, especially those of us who read (and re-read) her memoir, Wishful Drinking.

“One of the things that baffle me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder,” she writes. “In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”

Since her passing, Fisher continues to be a source of inspiration for those dealing with the dual diagnosis of addiction and mental health issues. She remains someone we can all look up to thanks to her legacy of as a mental-health advocate.

9. Oprah Winfrey

Image by oprah/Twitter

It might shock you to find out that one of the most famous women in America has dealt with addiction, too. This just goes to show how prevalent this problem really is. In 1995, Winfrey broke down on her talk show while filming an episode about women who have had drug problems and admitted that she had smoked cocaine in her early 20s.

“Years ago I had a woman on my show who was talking about drugs and how she was addicted to her boyfriend and I had used drugs in my 20s with this boyfriend and I was more addicted to the boyfriend than I was to the drugs,” she revealed in a 2005 interview. “So the admission to using drugs on television as the biggest thing.”

Since then, she has continued to be an advocate for conquering addiction, often being outspoken about her own experiences with love and food addiction as well as talking about recovery on her former talk show and in her current ventures. She has devoted more shows to conquering addiction, featured stories in her magazine about the benefits of yoga for addiction recovery, and continues to have frank conversations with other celebrities about addiction and recovery (such as with Russell Brand, who also made our list).

10. Bradley Cooper

Image by ladygaga/Instagram

Bradley Cooper, the actor and first-time director/co-star of the phenomenal A Star Is Born remake (with Lady Gaga) has been sober since 2004, saying that he has not had a drink since he was 29 years old. His new film hits close to home, as he stars as the Jackson, a tormented musician struggling with addiction. Luckily, Cooper says his experience has been a cathartic one.

“Anytime you’re trying to tell the truth you need to go to places and use things that have happened to you, or you’ve read about or experienced,” Cooper told Vanity Fair. “And that’s all part of the beauty of turning whatever things you’ve gone through into a story. I find that to be very cathartic. I remember learning that in grad school, our teacher said all the insecurities, all the dark stuff you get to use that and that’s really the truth.”

11. Samuel L. Jackson

Image by samuelljackson/Instagram

It has been 29 years since Samuel L. Jackson left a drug rehabilitation center, but the superstar actor is still addicted — this time to work and golf, instead of alcohol and crack cocaine, he told The Telegraph in 2005.

“‘Made it’ is all relative,” he told The Guardian in 2016 about his late start in movies. “I had a very good theatre reputation. Granted, I was a fucking drug addict and I was out of my mind a lot of the time, but I had a good reputation. Showed up on time, knew my lines, hit my marks. I just wasn’t making a lot of money, but I was very satisfied artistically. I was doing Pulitzer prize-winning plays. I was working with people who made me better, who challenged me. So I was doing things the right way, it was just that one thing that was in the way— my addiction. And once that was out of the way, it was— boom! The door blew wide open.”

The star credits the two most important women in his life (his wife, LaTanya, and daughter, Zoe) with helping him get sober but admits that he still fights the occasional temptation to drink. It is precisely his outspoken nature that has made him an advocate of recovery— though his rise to fame after getting (and staying) sober certainly helps, too.

Recovery can be a messy process. Mine certainly was. But the pain that comes from the stigma attached to addiction can make the journey toward recovery even harder. But when a celebrity speaks out about their addiction and journey to recovery, the world listens.

As we have seen more celebrities “come out” in recovery, our society’s perception of addiction has also slowly started to change. It’s undeniable that these prominent voices have started to help us overcome and fight the stigma of addiction. The celebs on the list above are shining examples of those who are already doing it, but here’s hoping that they will continue to be joined by more who speak out and inspire the rest of us with their sobriety journey.

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Does Angelina Jolie often “forget” to eat and starve herself? This is what a report by OK! Australia has claimed, but Gossip Cop has now debunked this speculation.

The Australian edition of OK! magazine claimed in a report last year that Jolie is dangerously underweight at only 77 pounds (35 kilograms) because of her bad eating habits. Brad Pitt’s ex-wife reportedly often forgets to eat, according to a so-called source, because her life is extremely busy. The actress reportedly only nibbles on “strawberries and grapefruit” and drinks a few glasses of “hot water and lemon” to make sure she doesn’t faint from hunger.

The OK! magazine report further claimed that Jolie is starving herself on purpose to keep her weight down. Their unnamed source claimed that she often smokes cigarettes and drinks coffee instead of eating healthy and filling food. She reportedly does this before her kids wake up in the morning so they wouldn’t see her bad habits. Due to this and her supposed meager meals, the questionable tipster claimed that Jolie’s weight has dropped to a “new low.”

However, these claims seem to be nothing more than a fabrication. Jolie has been photographed eating and buying healthy food with her children multiple times over the years. Gossip Cop also previously reached out to a source close to Jolie who confirmed that there is no truth to OK! magazine’s claims about her weight and eating habits.

Back in October 2017, the actress was spotted indulging in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone alone while doing some Halloween shopping, Just Jared reported. A few months ago, Jolie also enjoyed some ice cream with her son Pax during an outing.

While it’s possible Jolie may enjoy eating strawberries and grapefruit, it’s unlikely that these are the only healthy food she likes to eat. Jolie and her children were spotted carrying bags from Whole Foods back in August, according to Daily Mail.

And while she may have looked slender during her outings this year, Jolie still looked healthy and not at all dangerously underweight like what the tabloid claimed. Over the weekend, Jolie looked gorgeous and radiant when she went shopping with her son Pax in LA.

This wasn’t the first time that Jolie had been the subject of false OK! magazine reports. The magazine previously claimed that Jolie wanted to hook up with Drake and make him the “daddy” of the kids she shares with Pitt. However, Gossip Cop also proved that the outrageous story was made-up.

Angelina Jolie Will Often “Forget To Eat”?

(Getty Images)

Does Angelina Jolie often forget to eat food? That was the premise behind a tabloid story from exactly one year ago today. Gossip Cop reported it was wrong then, and now 12 months later it’s clear the claim about her diet was and continues to be false.

On January 21, 2018, the Australian edition of OK! published a cover story asserting Jolie weighed only 77 pounds, and that was because eating was sometimes just an afterthought for her. A so-called “insider” was quoted as telling the publication, since the actress’s life is nothing less than “chaos,” Jolie will often “forget to eat.” But to make sure she doesn’t entirely starve, reported the outlet, Jolie would nibble on some “grapefruit and strawberries” and drink a few glasses of “hot water and lemon.”

That said, the tabloid also alleged Jolie was purposely suppressing her appetite. In an effort to keep her weight down, a source insisted Jolie was “smoking and drinking coffee,” and was doing it before her kids woke up, so they wouldn’t see her “pack-a-day habit.” As a result of her supposedly consuming just a “few hundred calories” per day from fruit and beverages, maintained the magazine, Jolie’s weight sunk to a “new low,” causing her friends to worry.

Actually, before the magazine claimed Jolie subsisted on a diet of fruit, coffee, water, and cigarettes, and in the intervening year since then, she’s been repeatedly photographed indulging in ice cream, as well as buying healthy food. In October 2017, for instance, Jolie was seen enjoying a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone alone while Halloween shopping. And just a few months ago, the paparazzi also snapped Jolie and son Pax having ice cream together.

Additionally, far from living on a few lemons, strawberries and grapefruits, in August Jolie and her kids were photographed with lots of bags from Whole Foods. It’s true the actress is thin, but she’s been slender for many years. Last year Gossip Cop was told by a Jolie insider, who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record, the tabloid’s cover story was untrue, and 365 days later it remains false.

The Aussie version of OK! has been wrong before about Jolie. For example, Gossip Cop busted the publication when it inaccurately contended Jolie wanted to make Drake her “toy boy” and the “daddy” of her kids. Of course, the story was absurd.

Occasionally, Gossip Cop will revisit a report from a year ago to allow readers to see how articles have held up. As more time goes by, as opposed to the narrative about Jolie lives only on cigarettes and coffee, it’s clear the actress eats well and even treats herself to caloric snacks here and there. The only thing that went up in smoke was the magazine’s story about Jolie.

Celebrity Diets: Angelina Jolie’s gloriously simple diet practice.

The tabloids today are filled with the strange kinds of diets which most celebrities go in for. While some of them are fabricated, some others are highly unfeasible for regular people. Most of these diets are also highly dangerous, because they can lead to the lack of important nutrients in the body, and later, these might be the causes or serious complications. From subsisting on a single piece of fruit to going on a liquid diet for days, there is not end to the madness which people can adopt in order to attain the supposedly perfect figure. Angelina Jolie, however seems to have stayed wary of the more extreme diets. She chooses to follow a strict regimen in the case of her diet, but she makes sure that she’s eating healthy. Small portions of meals, and more meals a day is a formula which has been tried and tested by many, and it is generally agreed upon, that it is a good diet practice, which prevents you from starving yourself. Instead of three meals a day, Angelina Jolie has six meals a day, in order to keep her stomach filled, and also in order to burn the calories which she has ingested. When the portions are smaller, the body takes lesser time to burn the calories, and the plan seems to be working for Jolie, because she has a perfectly toned body, devoid of excess fat. Jolie also avoids junk food very diligently. Instead, she eats six meals which include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. When she does go in for meat, she picks only steamed meat, and she tries to keep away from red meat as well as carbohydrate-rich food items. Soy milk is something which she drinks in large quantities, and she also likes sea bass a lot. Angelina Jolie admits to having followed a really unhealthy lifestyle for the longest time. She says that she would wake up in the morning and light a cigarette, which she would follow up with a cup of coffee. However, coffee and cigarettes soon sapped her of her energy and vitality, and she admits to realizing after a point, that it was an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle which she must quit in order to retain her health and her beauty. She quit the unhealthy habits and soon took to a much healthier, balanced lifestyle where she started eating healthy on a regular basis, and she started keeping a tab on what she ate, and when. Her diet is low on proteins, and instead of completely ignoring the factor, she drinks a couple of protein shakes everyday in order to make up for the deficiency. Most celebrities complicate matters by following extreme diet regimens which backfire on them after a point. Jolie’s diet is a perfect example of a simple and effective way of healthy eating, which will keep you looking well and radiant at all times. Her perfect body and her glowing complexion is the proof of the success of her healthy-eating habits.

Lionel Richie on Nicole’s drugs battle: ‘I cancelled my tour and checked into rehab with her’

But her father Lionel, 66, didn’t judge his daughter for her bad mistakes – he joined her through her recovery.

Talking to Piers Morgan during a new episode of Life Stories, the music legend recalled the heartbreaking phone call he received from his daughter crying out for help.

Lionel helped his daughter battle her demons

He said: “Nicole became a huge star herself in The Simple Life with Paris Hilton. She fell off the rails and she got into drugs and the wrong kind of friends and was arrested for possession of heroin and went to rehab.”

“That’s a fairly cataclysmic thing for any father to have to watch his beautiful, young daughter go through.”

Nicole pictured in 2005, the year of her arrest

Discussing a time after Nicole lost two of her friends to drugs, Lionel continued: “I got a phone call and she said, ‘Dad I need help, I don’t want to be the third one’. And I said, I am with you,’ and I cancelled the tour.

“I said, ‘Me and your mother’, who didn’t get along that well, ‘Me and your mother are checking into rehab with you.”

Nicole, now 33, managed to beat all of her demons and married musician Joel Madden. They are parents to daughters Harlow, seven, and five-year-old Sparrow.

Celebs Who Battled Addiction Through Healthy Habits

Although recent reports have surfaced that actress Demi Moore may once again be battling drug addiction (Moore had a stint in rehab during her ‘Brat Pack’ days), the seemingly healthy actress, albeit shrinking in size lately, has long been the picture of fitness. In the ‘90s, the St. Elmo’s Fire standout emerged from the haze of the hard-partying ‘80s to buff soldier in the 1997 flick GI Jane. She is one of several celebrities who have battled their demons through fitness and wellness.

We went to celebrity trainer and fitness director at New Jersey’s Sky Club Fitness and Spa Jolene Matthews to find out how six stars kicked their vices. Matthews herself is no stranger to addiction. As a recovering alcoholic, the trainer puts her past to good use through her company Addiction Fitness and Wellness, where she helps her clients “replace negative addictions with positive ones.”

Angelina Jolie: The Healthy Humanitarian

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Angelina Jolie

has confessed to doing “just about every drug possible,” even admitting to using cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, and other drugs in a 1998 interview. But the Oscar-winning actress, mother of six, and passionate humanitarian has since given up her unhealthy ways.

“While I personally liked her more muscular look in the Lara Croft films, it is inspiring to see a role model who focuses on good eating habits like sushi, vegetables, and broths,” Matthews says.

Kelly Osbourne: Dancing Saved Her

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Kelly Osbourne

, daughter of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, was reportedly popping up to 50 prescription pills a day by the age of 17. After her fourth stint in rehab in 2009, the former Dancing With the Stars contestant and E! Fashion Police panelist said she finally felt optimistic about her chances at recovery.

“For the first time, I felt hopeful. I knew I’d been given another chance at my life, at my career, at happiness. I wanted to grab it,” the 26-year-old wrote in her book, Fierce.

“That is how profound the disease of addiction is and how profound the recovery is,” Matthews says. “There are very few people who make it, let alone shine and thrive as Osbourne has.”

Nicole Richie: From Bad Girl to Hard-Working Mom

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After being arrested for heroin possession in 2003, Nicole Richie, daughter of singer Lionel Richie, went to rehab. Four years later the Simple Life star was still battling her demons, and admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana and Vicodin.

“People ask me, do I blame Hollywood or my parents?” the 29-year-old told InStyle U.K. in 2010. “No, I don’t blame my parents. It had nothing to do with them. I created it and manifested it, and I got myself through it with the help of a lot of great people.”

“Her disease progressed into arrests and unmanageability,” Matthews says. “But through a healthy diet and exercise regimen of yoga and meditation, Richie regained her self-esteem.”

Today, the mother of two is a successful fashion designer and businesswoman. “Now, we see a more balanced woman who is open about her past in order to be a role model for other young women who may be sick or suffering as she once was.”

Jamie Lee Curtis: Scream Queen Crying Out for Help

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Actress Jamie Lee Curtis has publicly admitted she was once so addicted to prescription painkillers, she even stole them from a family member. The addiction stemmed from her own unhealthy body image. After undergoing several plastic surgery procedures, the Halloween star abused the painkillers she was prescribed and mixed them with heavy drinking.

She reportedly got so caught up in her addiction that, for a period of time, she didn’t even care about her own health or well-being. This led to weight gain and a general state of unfit. “So I made a change and lost some weight,” she says. Now, Curtis, 53, is arguably one of the most fit actresses in Hollywood.

“She is an advocate for eating right, toning her body, and keeping a balanced lifestyle and credits this to keeping her addiction at bay,” Matthews says.

Kristin Davis: From Suffering to Sex

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Sex in the City

star Kristin Davis has candidly revealed to gossip sites how she didn’t think she would live past the age of 30, and that alcoholism runs in her family.

What made her stop? Matthews says it was Davis’ passion for her craft, along with meditation and a healthy lifestyle.

Drew Barrymore: From the Wrong Path to the Road to Superstardom

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Child star Drew Barrymore was reportedly drinking and smoking cigarettes by the tender age of 9 years old. Just a year later, she was already smoking marijuana and two years after that, doing cocaine.

“Barrymore is one of those rare cases of a child star with substance abuse issues who was able to overcome them by the time she became an adult,” Matthews says. The now 36-year old actress, who maintains a healthy figure without succumbing to Hollywood’s super-skinny standards, spent several years as a vegetarian and also reportedly runs and does yoga and Pilates.

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  • By Jené Luciani


Angelina Jolie, actress and humanitarian, is no stranger to addiction. Born in California in 1975, the daughter of actor Jon Voight and actress Marcheline Bertrand, Jolie began acting a young age. She first appeared in short film and television roles that gradually landed her larger roles in feature films, such as 1995’s cult classic “Hackers”. Jolie gained acclaim for her acting skills as well as her renowned beauty. Jolie has revealed little about this time of her life, but in interviews and excerpts from books she has alluded to struggling with addiction.

“I know addiction in all forms.”

In 1997, Jolie landed a series of starring roles, including a turn playing opposite David Duchovny in the film “Playing God”, starring in the CBS miniseries “True Women”, and featuring as a stripper in the Rolling Stone’s music video for “Anybody Seen My Baby”. Her fame gradually grew larger, offering more opportunities for bigger roles but also opening the door to greater temptations. On her rise to fame, Jolie has mentioned trying just about every drug possible.

“I’ve done coke, heroin, ecstasy, LSD, everything”

The actress has admitted that her use of these illicit narcotics was connected to her own deep seated issues with depression that have affected her since her teens. Jolie has also admitted to cutting herself as a means of relieving the feelings of emptiness and loss. Cutting is sometimes used by people to provide relief and give a sense of control over emotional pain. Jolie has never delved deeply into specifics of her struggles, but given her fame and success it is not hard to imagine the stress.

Philipp von Ostau, Angelina jolie by philipp von ostau, CC BY-SA 3.0

“So I am very lucky. There are other artists and people that didn’t survive certain things … people can imagine that I did the most dangerous, and I did the worst…for many reasons, I shouldn’t be here. You just…too many times where you came close to too many dangerous things, too many chances taken too, too far.”

Jolie starred in a number of higher profile films in the late nineties, such as “Gia” and “Girl, Interrupted”. Ironically enough, Jolie’s role in “Gia” was of an aging supermodel struggling with the end of her career, a crippling addiction to heroin, and whom eventually dies from AIDS. Jolie was known for method acting at the time and refused to get out of character between takes. Angelina Jolie caught her biggest break when she starred in the international blockbuster film “Tomb Raider”. This film grossed huge numbers and cemented Jolie as one of Hollywood’s most sought after film stars.

There was a dark underside to this success tale however. Prior to and throughout the filming of Tomb Raider, Jolie was forced to submit to daily drug tests in order to keep her role. Her drug use had become tabloid fodder when in 1998, a video was released by her drug dealer of Jolie pacing around an apartment after scoring both heroin and cocaine. Ultimately, it was the dangerous and dark past of hers that helped Jolie land the role, at least according to director Simon West. However, her hard work paid off in the end, as “Tomb Raider” was a wild success.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Stella McCartney and Angelina Jolie 2014, CC BY 2.0

“I do believe in the old saying, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are. By overcoming difficulties, we gain strength and maturity.”

Instead of turning back to drugs and alcohol, Jolie opted to dedicate her life to humanitarian efforts. In 2001, Jolie was named Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. According to the actress, the honor and responsibility associated with this role motivated her to leave behind her past with substance abuse and to help others. According to the UN Refugee agency, Jolie has completed more than 40 missions to some of the world’s most remote regions.

“We cannot close ourselves off to information and ignore the fact that millions of people are out there suffering. I honestly want to help. I don’t believe I feel differently from other people. I think we all want justice and equality, a chance for a life with meaning. All of us would like to believe that if we were in a bad situation someone would help us.”

Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Angelina Jolie and Foreign Secretary William Hague at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict 2014, CC BY 2.0

Today, Jolie tends to stay out of the limelight and has settled into her role as a director and mother. She has directed three films and produced numerous others. Her films continue to garner wide audiences and her work with humanitarian organizations is widespread and impactful, including work helping refugees, conservation, community development, child immigration, education, human rights, women’s rights, and numerous more. She has received several humanitarian awards and was the first recipient of the Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association.

In Conclusion

Angelina Jolie’s story offers hope to those who are struggling with substance abuse issues in the present. Despite a troubling past, issues with depression, and experimentation with narcotics, Jolie was able to set her life on the right track and channel her struggles towards helping others. It’s never too late to get the help of certified rehabs near Indianapolis to stop the progression of addiction. Trained counselors and certified medical staff will help you to get sober and learn how to stay that way. Visit Landmark Recovery to learn about more tools and resources for overcoming addiction.

The Role That Made: Angelina Jolie

Before she was Lara Croft, Mrs. Smith or Maleficent, relatively unknown actor Angelina Jolie took on a role of a gorgeous young model who catapulted into stardom before her untimely death. The part shot Jolie into the big leagues when she received both a Golden Globe and a SAG award for her performance.

The 1998 biographical film follows Gia Carangi (Jolie) as she arrives in New York City with dreams of becoming a fashion model. Her looks propel her forward in the industry, and what comes along with her rise to fame is passion, love, and — drug addiction. It’s hard to believe the Hollywood icon wasn’t always on the scene, but Jolie’s intense and raw portrayal of Carangi is what grabbed audiences for the first time. Watching Carangi’s downward spiral is troubling, but, like the model herself, impossible not to watch. The movie begins with people describing Gia before we’ve even seen her: how she moved, how she looked, her other-worldliness.

To play that on the screen and fully embody the essence of a real-life person with such natural vivacity can be a challenge — Gia’s don’t-give-a-shit attitude and eccentricity could come off as false or trying too hard (the very opposite of what Carangi had to do) in the hands of the wrong actor. But Jolie is magnetic all on her own, managing Gia’s anger, attitude and even depression in ways few actors could. What we see in Jolie’s Gia feels like an early cousin of her later Oscar-winning and show-stealing role in Girl, Interrupted.

Jolie enters the picture with pink hair, spiked and dirty, working in a diner. But with a simple lean against the countertop and a look up, the audience gets it: There’s no stopping this woman. She is a force of nature. The assessment applies to both the character and the star, whose own magnetism does not outshine the story, but pushes it that much further.

Gia pulls word-for-word inspiration from the model’s own journal entries and interviews, accompanied by a slow jazz score. The exploration of Carangi’s relationships with makeup artist Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell), mentor Wilhelmina Cooper (Faye Dunaway in her own award-winning role), and mother (Mercedes Ruehl) help to expand Jolie’s memorable performance. Alongside black and white shots which add to the sultry, slow burn of her collapse, the film’s depiction of Gia’s losing battle with both substance abuse and HIV elevates it beyond paint-by-numbers biopic, and makes it an emotional and artistic must-see in its own right.

Gia is available on HBO.

Angelina Jolie’s Drug Tests, Harassment and Wacky “Spiritual Hokum” on the Set of ‘Tomb Raider’ (Exclusive Book Excerpt)

A new biography of Sherry Lansing reveals that the 2001 film — which helped turn Jolie into a major star — was one of her biggest challenges, and an experience that left her feeling empty.

Few of Paramount’s films under Sherry Lansing proved as complicated as 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which needed an actress sexual enough to resemble the computer creation while accessibly human. Only one person could pull it off: Angelina Jolie.

It was early 2000, and the 24-year-old (soon to win an Oscar) was not yet a major star. She was plagued by damaging reports about her personal life, rumored to have dabbled in drugs and to have had an odd relationship with her brother, along with an even odder one with soon-to-be husband Billy Bob Thornton, whose blood she reportedly carried around her neck in a vial. “She definitely had some baggage and something of a dark reputation,” said director Simon West. “Funnily enough, that was one of my selling points: This troubled and dangerous aspect in her reputation actually helped the character.”

Lansing was concerned, especially when Jon Voight (Jolie’s father) and Jane Fonda (a family friend) called to warn her that the actress was extremely fragile. With Lansing’s blessing, West flew to Mexico to meet Jolie on the set of the thriller Original Sin. “She said: ‘Look, I want to do it, but I know what my reputation is, and I’ll do anything you want to prove that I’m worthy. I’ll be reliable, and I’ll turn up, and I’ll work hard,’ ” recalled West. “She said, ‘I don’t care if the studio wants to drug test me every day.’ “

Lansing met with Jolie. “She was beyond beautiful,” she said. “She was smart, she was strong.” Negotiations commenced, and so did the drug tests. Said then-Para­mount president John Goldwyn, “We were sufficiently worried that we obliged her to undergo random drug tests — and not just urine tests but also blood tests.”

To everyone’s relief, Jolie passed. Even so, the studio and producers were concerned enough to talk about keeping an eye on their star. “We would put a team around her for two purposes,” said a member of the production crew. “One really was practical: to get her into great shape for the movie, not only in terms of appearance but to do what she had to do onscreen. Then there was this notion that we had to give her spiritual and psychological support.”

That’s when the real problems began. West suggested hiring Bobby Klein, a former photographer and therapist who he believed had the right kind of experience. “There were issues with the studio and producers being very nervous about Angelina,” he said. “There was a discussion with the group: ‘We’re looking for someone to oversee or keep an eye on her because we’re all making the film.’ That guy Bobby Klein came up as somebody who had worked in that world of psychotherapy or drug management or whatever. He was brought in to supervise Angelina.”

Relationships that had been tense became strained to the breaking point, and producer Larry Gordon, who had battled the studio over money and the script, bristled at Klein’s presence. “Simon West comes with this guy, Bobby Klein,” said Gordon. “He’s dressed all in black. He’s a weird-looking guy with a white beard and white hair. He’s very esoteric and gives me a thing that if you wear it, you can’t get cancer, some bullshit thing. ‘He’s going to be a big help, and he’s going to do all these great things,’ and so on and so forth.”

As preproduction got underway in England, Klein asked to be placed in charge of Jolie’s physical preparation, even though a stunt coordinator was already working with her. After Klein insisted on employing a health expert who had been investigated by Scotland Yard, the production team balked. ” wanted her to have milk baths and started talking about yoga and meditation and wanted to be the point person in charge of Angelina’s training,” said Lloyd Levin, who produced the film with Gordon. “It was just this bullshit. It seemed like spiritual hokum.”

When Klein was then accused of sexually harassing West’s assistant, among other issues, he left the production. Gordon was ecstatic. “I said, ‘Angelina doesn’t want you around, and I never wanted you around, so your ass is gone. You can get your shit and go, or I can get security to throw you off the lot. You decide.’ He said, ‘I still get my expenses?’ I said, ‘Unfortunately, yes.’ “

With Klein out of the way, Jolie was a dream. “In the dailies, she was riveting,” said Lansing. “She took what might have been a cardboard character and added a layer of mystery and emotion and humanity.”

Only at the end of the long, turbulent shoot did an accident occur, when the actress fell and hurt her foot. “It’s to be expected,” said Jolie. “After all the big stunts, I ended up hurting myself on a smaller stunt. A big jump over a statue, and I landed badly on my ankle. A partial tear, and I came back to work with a cane. Not very Croft.”

Tomb Raider made $275 million worldwide when it opened in June 2001, enough to warrant a sequel. Lansing had launched a new franchise at minimal cost to the studio and helped turn Jolie into a major star. And yet the experience left the studio chief feeling empty.

She had been bothered for some time by her growing awareness that the quality of pictures no longer seemed essential, that clever sales strategies could redeem all but the most abysmal of movies. When she revealed her fears to Rob Friedman, her vice chairman and a marketing expert, he dismissed them. “Don’t worry,” he said. “You can spend all this money to improve the picture, but it won’t make the tiniest difference to how much it brings in.”

Adapted from Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker ©2017 by Stephen Galloway. To be released by Crown Archetype, an imprint of Penguin Random House, on April 25. It’s available for preorder now.

This story first appeared in the March 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, .

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