The Real Cost of Fame?
Richard Ayoub, editor of anti-tabloid website Rumorfix.com, joins Dr. Phil’s discussion on celebrities and addictions.
Dr. Phil plays an exclusive Rumorfix.com video featuring soulful crooner Sly of Sly and the Family Stone. The video footage reveals a disheveled Sly on the streets of Los Angeles struggling with drug addiction.
“We all grew up with Sly and the Family Stone,” Dr. Phil explains. “He once lived in a sprawling mansion in Beverly Hills, and now he lives in a van dealing with drugs.”
“I love Sly -- he’s one of my heroes and I actually got to know him a bit when I first moved to Hollywood. He lived in the same apartment building as me, and that was a wake-up call,” Duff says, explaining that he was shocked to have such a talented artist as his neighbor. “I’ve seen him get better. He’s a wonderful, wonderful guy.”
[AD]“He’s responsible for songs like 'Everyday People', 'Thank You', 'Family Affair' and all these songs we still hum along to today,” Richard explains. “He wants to go to rehab but he says one of his biggest concerns is that fans won’t like his music anymore, and that he might have to turn to weed again.”
“I remember thinking that kind of stuff,” Duff confides. “Can I play music sober? And when I got sober, I wasn’t sure if I could. That was a big fear.” But he says once he kicked drugs and alcohol, his music became clearer, and he felt “alive” during performances. “I was so much more present with the audience, with myself, and with what I was playing,” Duff explains.
Richard also weighs in on the Hollywood phenomenon known as The Forever 27 Club, a group of legendary artists – including Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin – who at 27, died of a drug overdose.
“All of them died at age 27 and most recently, Amy Winehouse,” Richard adds. Although a drug overdose wasn’t her cause of death, Winehouse’s father reported that she likely died while detoxing from alcohol addiction.
“There’s a lot of pressure on someone like her, because she vaulted into a super high profile in a short period of time, right?” Dr. Phil asks Duff.
“Yeah, and by herself,” Duff adds. “At least I had a band. At least I had fellows around me that were experiencing the same thing. The Seattle Weekly asked me to write an obituary about Amy Winehouse, and I did. It’s easy to judge someone like Amy Winehouse from the outside, but until you’ve walked a couple steps in that fame monster, [you never know]. Trying to quit like that, in public, must have been extreme.”
[AD]Dr. Phil notes that celebrities often lack supportive people who are honest enough to make them stop their destructive behavior. “It seems like they have no one around them to say, ‘I don’t care about what you can do for me; I care about you as a person,’” he observes.
“But it really does come down to you,” Duff explains. “You have to want [to change]. People can try to help you, but you’ve really got to want it, and I think after seeing my mother in the hospital, I suddenly wanted to be sober.”