Drug rehabs are bursting with all sorts of celebrities: minor leaguers, heavy hitters, wannabes, flameouts, and out-of-work actors. We are all curious about what it was like for celebs before their confinement under a doctor’s supervision. Well, one brave soul, Chris Gardner, has pulled back the curtain and given us a ringside seat.
Gossip Columnist Gone Bad
Chris was a gossip columnist who liked to party with big names, like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. He lasted seven years before Hollywood chewed him up and spat him out. The Iowa native first glimpsed Los Angeles as a child and knew that’s where he belonged. After graduating college, he quickly scampered back to LA and went to work at the Hollywood Reporter. His beat was Sunset Boulevard. He thought it was big, flashy and sexy. Chris was to infiltrate this flashy world by frequenting night clubs, befriending celebrities and then writing about them.
His subjects included Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson, whom he tape-recorded. He delivered the goods and soon took a similar job at People Magazine. He became a fixture at the Chateau Marmont, an infamous hotel on Sunset Boulevard. That’s where John Belushi shot up for the last time. Before long, Chris was doing tons of drugs, including cocaine. He also was handing them out at parties, a great way to make friends. He’d go out, make a connection, and haul back the party favors for his waiting celebrity friends, like Lindsay Lohan and Naomi Campbell. He would simply text his friends when he needed a story.
He became an addict, and his addiction caused him to miss a scoop on a mega-story: the break-up of Brad and Jennifer. At the time, he was holed up at the Sunset Plaza on two-day drug jag. He stopped paying his bills or doing his work. When he tried to cover the Emmy Awards, the cops picked him up for unpaid parking tickets. But it got worse. He became a film reporter for Daily Variety and got assigned to cover a Mariah Carey music video shoot. The party continued at his apartment, where he blacked out and fell through a glass door. He then had a seizure.
He headed back to Iowa, where he sobered up. Instead of giving up, he pulled himself together and made a comeback, but that’s another story. The moral of the story: don’t do drugs!