Growing up as a celebrity in the 80’s was no easy task. There were no rules, no boundaries. The people surrounding me acted like they were going to live forever. But that was probably due to all the cocaine that flowed in on the daily breeze. Sure, from the outside everything looked like a lot of fun.And I won’t lie, it certainly was a lot of fun. But after a certain point the fun stopped and an ugly world took its place. Cocaine addictions began to take hold on pretty much everyone I knew. Very successful people in the industry, who had the world in the palm of their hands, now had cocaine addictions in the core of their beings. No one knew it would happen. It always started out innocently enough. Just try a little at an event and have a good time. Pretty soon parties would be fueled by coke. Everyone thought that they were immune or not doing coke enough to become addicted. They told themselves that one toot in the morning to get going was normal and o.k. And then another one at lunch. And maybe a few in between meetings. But before anyone knew, it would be evening, and that’s the time to party so… And in the 80’s it basically was normal, but never o.k.
Seeing cocaine addictions around me became commonplace. Everyone I knew, including my parents, were going nuts on the white stuff. Here I am, living the dream. The life that everyone envies. The life of a star… surrounded by a nightmare.
Coke addicts, and by that I mean real life coke addictions, are not in any way shape or form pretty. In fact they are downright ugly. I watched my own father, who was a big time producer, go from a successful and happy mogul to a depressed, maniacal, and nearly homeless coke fiend. He was young and good looking. His cocaine addiction quickly thinned him out and made him look aweful. After a couple straight years of hard usage, he began losing big movie deals that eventually cost him and us, his family, everything we had. His losses drove him even harder into his addiction to coke and drove the rest of us out of a home. Not to mention the spotlight.
Luckily my father had real friends who cared about him. One of his school friends who he grew up with, who happened to be a contractor, convinced my parents to go on a little “vacation” with him to Florida. Meanwhile I stayed with my uncle in Colorado. They came back six months later, fresh out of rehab, looking healthy and renewed. My dad secured a new movie deal right off the bat and we were back on track.
I learned early in life that cocaine is not something to be messing with. Cocaine addictions come on subtly and strong and don’t let go of you without a hard battle. My family must endure a lot of pressure from many different sources. And now that the evil blow is thankfully out of the picture, we are able to handle the pressure with an easy stride. Now that I’ve grown up and stepped into my father’s producing shoes, he’s been able to take time off a little more often. I look at him with sad admiration as I see a man who got old and torn down before his time, but won a hard battle that others we know have fought and lost.