Skip to comments.Yasmine Bleeth: My battle with drugs (or, how my nose almost fell off - WOD Alert!)
Posted on 01/24/2003 8:38:49 PM PST by mhking
Yasmine Bleeth: My battle with drugs
Thursday January 23, 2003
FOR Baywatch beauty Yasmine Bleeth, getting high on drugs brought her so low, it nearly killed her.
Now she's poured out her heart and revealed for the first time her horrific battle with cocaine, her rocky fight to win back her life and the love that is helping her.
Two years ago, the actress' drug habit was so bad, she didn't sleep for days at a time. She looked like death and on Sept. 12, 2001, she nearly drove herself into an early grave after losing control of her car on a Michigan road and careening into a median while high.
She spent a night in jail and, after a plea bargain, was sentenced to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service.
"For three years, people had been telling me that drugs would kill me," says Yasmine, 34, who was in the car with boyfriend Paul Cerrito, whom she married last August. "And this was my proof."
Bleeth says cocaine crept into her world so slowly, so easily, she didn't realize it until she was hooked.
When her three-year contract with Baywatch ended in 1997, she moved from L.A. to San Francisco and started her gig on Nash Bridges, opposite Don Johnson. Her romance with actor Richard Grieco had all but died, and she started drowning her pain with drugs.
"I just wanted to feel good again," she confides. "And I knew an easy way to get that feeling."
At first Yasmine just snorted the stuff socially on weekends with people she knew. Three months later, she made her first call to a dealer.
"It was like ordering Chinese food," she says. "I made one phone call and they delivered it to my front door."
Suddenly, she was in love again - with the white powder. "It was all I could think about," she admits. "When I was high, I didn't think about my problems. I had no pain. I wouldn't sleep for two or three days, sometimes even four or five."
By the end of 1999, her ghastly appearance started scaring her friends and family.
"I'm a fleshy girl, very curvy and round, but I lost my softness," she says. "I looked like an alien. My eyes were bulging out of my face. I was 110 pounds and a size 0. I looked dead."
In fact, she was slowly killing herself.
"I had an infection that had completely eaten out the inside of my nose," she tells Glamour magazine. "Essentially, I had gangrene in my nose."
The doctor put her on antibiotics and told her that another couple of months with this infection and it could have gone to her brain and killed her.
"That scared me," says Yasmine. "Until I started doing drugs again six weeks later."
In no time, the devastating drug cycle began again. Remarkably, she managed to drag herself to the set of the series Titans. But she was in no shape to film. The show's producer, Aaron Spelling, gave her time off to go to rehab at Promises in Malibu, Calif.
"I did drugs right up until I entered the program," says Yasmine. "I even did drugs in the Town Car on the way there."
During her December 2000 treatment, she met someone who made her feel better than the powder: Michigan bar owner Paul Cerrito, 32. After rehab, Yasmine invited Paul to stay with her in L.A.
"I thought that if ever I could handle doing drugs casually, now would be the time," she says. "But once I started doing coke, I lost control, and it took over my life again."
Yasmine was high when she crashed her car in Michigan a year and a half ago and nearly died. But now she sees that crash as a godsend. "I felt like some force had saved our lives," she says.
She knew she desperately needed to quit drugs - and finally, she did. Then this past August, just less than a year after her car crash, she and Paul tied the knot in Santa Barbara and honeymooned in Hawaii.
Yasmine is clean now, but it hasn't been easy. Her husband's love helps her over the rough patches.
"The feeling I have when I'm with Paul is better than how I felt on cocaine," she says.
But she still has to take one day at a time.
"Consciously trying to stay off drugs is now part of my life, and it always will be," she says.
"I've proven to myself that I can't have both drugs and love. Every day, I have to make the choice again. So far, I choose love."
Careful. You could go blind...:-)...JFK
Former "Baywatch" star Yasmine Bleeth was arrested in September 2001 by Michigan police and charged with cocaine possession. The actress pleaded guilty to one criminal count and was sentenced in January 2002 to two years probation and 100 hours of community service.
Another of those fitting "images" for public consumption.
Yes, it's all about "image". Right, Dane?
This is about an idiot that messed with drugs and got addicted. Oh, yeah, that can't happen since drugs are illegal and there is strict federal/state/county/municipal/school crossing guard zero-tolerance enforcement.
Maybe she should sue the government for not preventing her from using coke? Surely they sould have been more intrusive, watched her more carefully, monitored her finances, surveilled her acquaintences, and intervened before she got messed up.
What's that you say? It's not the government's role to baby sit citizens? Oh.....