Hollywood is no stranger to sober celebs. A-list stars from Bradley Cooper to Robert Downey Jr. to Kristen Johnston and Russell Brand have been open about their struggles with alcohol, illegal drugs and other substance addictions. Some say they want to help other alcoholics and addicts find the courage they need to start their sobriety journey, while others say they’re simply grateful and want to live their lives in the open.
From time to time, however, a celebrity will surprise the world and suddenly announce that they got sober. Us rounded up the public revelations and confessions from stars who bravely got sober in private, then shared the inspiring news with fans by coming clean on getting clean.
In an essay for GQ, the singer revealed that when she stopped drinking alcohol in January 2021, that was “the most rebellious thing” she’s ever done. “I drank because I was worried about the state of the world, I drank because I was bored, I drank because I missed tour, I drank because I was unemployed, I drank because everyone else drinks,” she revealed. “And I drank even though I didn’t really want to.”
Price also said that she’s figured out “a version of not drinking that works” for her. “I’m not attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and I haven’t apologized to the people in my life. As women, we are always saying we are sorry. The only one I feel the need to beg forgiveness from is myself. … I don’t identify as an alcoholic, and I have no regrets for the decisions I’ve made in my life. I believe everything happens for a reason. But I also believe that quitting drinking has made parenting and work easier.”
The “Thrift Shop” rapper said on “People’s Party With Talib Kweli” in January 2021 that he “was about to die” at age 25 before his father, Bill Haggerty, paid more than $10,000 for him to go to a 30-day rehab. “I wouldn’t be here right now. That’s not to be f–king dramatic — that’s just what it is,” Macklemore, who relapsed in 2011 and 2014, said on the podcast.
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The cookbook author revealed in December 2020 that she was “four weeks sober” while responding to a fan’s comment on her dancing video about wanting “whatever drugs” she was on. That same month, she shared that Holly Whitaker’s book, Quit Like a Woman, inspired her sobriety journey.
“One month ago, on my birthday, I got this book from my doctor and friend,” Teigen wrote via her Instagram Stories. “I was done with making an ass of myself in front of people (I’m still embarrassed), tired of day drinking and feeling like shit by 6, not being able to sleep. I have been sober ever since.”
The Silence of the Lambs star announced in a Twitter video in December 2020 that he had reached a major milestone in his sobriety. “Forty-five years ago today, I had a wake-up call. I was headed for disaster, I was drinking myself to death,” he recalled, noting that his “life has been amazing” ever since he gave up alcohol. Hopkins went on to share an encouraging message to people struggling with substance abuse, saying in part, “Hang in there. Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday. Young people, don’t give up. Just keep in there.”
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The Moroccan rapper revealed he hadn’t consumed alcohol since he landed in the ICU for nearly two weeks in November 2019. “Too much drinking, too many pills, you know, boom,” he said during a December 2020 interview with XXL. “It was just overdoing something for too long. And, to the point where now [being] sober is becoming my new high. People [saw] I was out of control, not me, you know what I’m saying? Because, it’s almost like working out. You don’t see [yourself] getting big because you see yourself every day. It’s the same thing with you being out of control.”
Before his hospitalization, Montana’s drug use was “a hobby” that eventually transformed into “being an addiction.” In the year since his health scare, the Grammy nominee has faced life with a new perspective. “I think that was the hardest thing I ever did in my life, to snatch myself back,” he told XXL. “So, for me to stop everything and just step back, that was, like, one of my biggest accomplishments.”
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The “Mockingbird” singer celebrated two years of being sober in December 2020, telling his Instagram followers that he felt “happy and grateful and very very very lucky.” Three months prior, he opened up about his struggles and noted that he wanted to “be as transparent and honest as possible” when it came to his past. “I’ve always had an issue with self-control in my life. I’ve been emotionally reckless at times and I’ve definitely abused myself with copious amounts of drugs and illicit materials and doing crazy things, and being wild without purpose and that is dangerous,” he told Esquire in September 2020. “It could be creatively fueling, but I think what’s really helped ground me is learning the difference between creative spontaneity and emotional recklessness in everyday life.”
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The singer celebrated six months of sobriety in June 2020 after undergoing a “really big vocal surgery” the previous November. “I did a lot of family history, which has a lot of addiction and mental health challenges,” she told Variety at the time. “So just going through that and asking, ‘Why am I the way that I am?’ By understanding the past, we understand the present and the future much more clearly. The former Disney Channel star revealed in November 2020 that she was two weeks sober after having a setback amid the coronavirus pandemic. “I fell off and I realized that I now am back on sobriety, two weeks sober, and I feel like I really accepted that time,” Cyrus told Zane Lowe during an Apple Music’s New Music Daily interview. “One of the things I’ve used is, ‘Don’t get furious, get curious.’ So don’t be mad at yourself, but ask yourself, ‘What happened?’ To me, it was a f—k up because I’m not a moderation person, and I don’t think that everyone has to be f—king sober.”
“Keep calm because 7 years sober is sexy as hell,” the Real World alum, who last appeared on MTV in 2013’s The Challenge: Rivals II, posted via Instagram in November 2020. “2556 days.”
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The Dancing With the Stars pro revealed she is two years sober during a September 2020 episode of the “LadyGang” podcast. “It was just a decision that I made for myself,” she said. “And it was when Matt [Lawrence] and I got engaged and it was during that engagement party that we were just like — or that I was like, he didn’t even know — I was just like, I was done. My father passed away — and then my dad was an alcoholic — so either I was gonna crash and burn and check myself into rehab or I was gonna just quit cold turkey. That’s just my personality. It’s either black or white.”
“1 year completely sober !” the “Smile” singer wrote via Instagram in July 2020 alongside a series of bikini selfies. “So grateful for my health and happiness.”
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The Real Housewives of New York City star showed off her three-month sobriety coin via Instagram in June 2020. “I spent most of my adult life not drinking. Living without alcohol is much more normal to me than living with alcohol,” McSweeney, who was previously sober for nine years, told Us Weekly exclusively earlier that month.
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The Summer House star revealed to Us exclusively in May 2020 that he got sober. “I do have so many issues and I wanted to actually get help that’s directly, you know, attacking the alcohol component,” he said on the “Hot Hollywood” podcast. “That’s something I’d never done before. So, I’m proud of myself.”
The Melrose Place alum got sober in April 2019 after seeking treatment several times and having multiple run-ins with the law. She celebrated one year of sobriety via Instagram in April 2020, writing, “Hugs will come later!”
The Home Improvement alum revealed on The Kelly Clarkson Show in March 2020 that he has been free of drugs and alcohol “for about 22 years.” He said, “It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a day-to-day thing. You gotta reprise every day.”
The former adult film star announced in September 2019 that she was four years clean. “We do recover. We do overcome. We do rebuild,” she wrote via Instagram. “But we never forget. We still have scars. They fade. The sun begins to shine and close out the shadows. Trust returns.”
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The Fosters alum revealed that he got sober one day before celebrating his 21st birthday. “I had been partying quite a bit when I lived in LA. I was having a really good time. When I was turning 21, I was like, ‘Damn, I’ve been partying like crazy since I was 17,’” he admitted in a video that resurfaced to Twitter in August 2018. “I was like, ‘Wow, maybe I should take a break.’ So I stopped doing all that and I found that a lot of problems I was having in my life, slowly — they didn’t go away, they just became way more apparent to me.”
The fashion designer stopped drinking in November 2017 after turning to alcohol and pills to cope with the sexual abuse she endured as a child. “When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life,” she told People magazine in January 2020. “I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear. Honesty is hard but it’s the most rewarding thing we have. And getting to the other side of fear is beautiful.”
The Teen Wolf alum announced in March 2019 that he is six months sober after quietly battling drug and alcohol addiction for a decade. “I got married [to Jeff Leatham in 2018] and that didn’t work out. That was extremely public and heartbreaking, and right when that was going on, my mom died,” he told Attitude magazine. Haynes revealed that he hit rock bottom when he locked himself in a hotel room during a seven-day bender and “ended up in [a] 5150 psych hold.” He completed a four-month treatment program soon after.
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The Jersey Shore star revealed exclusively to Us in February 2019 that he was a month sober. “I decided to go to treatment because I wanted to be a better person, a better father for my daughter,” Ortiz-Magro said, confirming he finished a month-long rehab stint at Headwaters treatment center in West Palm Beach, Florida, on February 10. The MTV star has had multiple highly publicized, under-the-influence blow-ups over the past year with his former partner Jen Harley. “I think it’s a chronic disease. It’s a progressive disease. I’m still struggling,” the father of 10-month-old Ariana said of alcoholism. “You stop and you start up again, and it’s worse than when you stopped. You’re just like, ‘Wow, I thought I had this under control,’ but at the end of the day, it has full control over you.”
The Made in Chelsea alum — and Pippa Middleton’s brother-in-law — announced in a January 7, 2018 Instagram post that he had embraced sobriety. “Been sober 7 months now and cannot begin to explain the difference in my life… 2018 for me was a complete game changer and I now feel like the best version of myself. Happy, active, busy and focused,” said the formerly hard-partying British reality star. Matthews, who welcomed his first baby with his model wife, Vogue Williams, in September 2018, added, “Being the best husband to @voguewilliams and the best father to Theodore is priority number one and always will be… Onwards and upwards is the only way!! Much love x”
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The singer-songwriter revealed on Twitter in late December 2018 that he was two months sober. “2018: you brought me to my knees. It turns out that’s where I needed to be: in prayer for everyone here or lost,” he captioned a photo of his sobriety coin. “In these trying times, God bless everyone struggling or on the path to empathy, kindness and recovery. Keep the Faith. & may the Faith keep you. XO.”
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The Vanderpump Rules star revealed in December 2018 that she was two months sober. “Today marks 60 days that I’ve been sober and it’s been the best 60 days that I’ve had in a really long time,” Kent told fans via her Instagram Story. “Thank you to my sponsor, thanks to my sober coach, people in my meetings that tell me to keep taking it day by day.”
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The Bring It On alum first opened up about her battle with alcoholism and drug addiction at the New Hampshire Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness in Manchester, New Hampshire, in March 2017. Dushku revealed she started experimenting with marijuana at the age of 14 and continued to abuse substances for many years. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress told the audience that she decided to get clean when her brother told her she could not see her niece while she was under the influence. Dushku recently celebrated 10 years of being sober in November 2018. “Asking for help #odaat saved my life,” she wrote on Instagram at the time. “If you’re struggling w #alcohol &/or #drug #addiction, I promise, you don’t have to live that way anymore.”
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The “Waiting on the World To Change” singer can thank Drake for helping him get clean. Mayer revealed in the November 2018 cover story of Complex that he hadn’t had a drink since Drake’s 30th birthday party two years earlier. After making “a fool” of himself at the rapper’s October 2016 bash and suffering a six-day hangover, Mayer says he asked himself, “‘OK, John, what percentage of your potential would you like to have? Because if you say you’d like 60, and you’d like to spend the other 40 having fun, that’s fine. But what percentage of what is available to you would you like to make happen? There’s no wrong answer. What is it?’ I went, ‘100.’” He added of alcohol, “If you look at drinking the way you would look at anything else, which is risk-reward, what am I giving up? What am I getting? It’s some of the worst odds that ever existed.”
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On the October 29, 2018, episode of Dax Shepard’s podcast, Armchair Expert, the Girls creator revealed that she had been misusing prescription pills unbeknownst to the public. “I’ve been sober for six months,” said the actress, adding, “My particular passion was Klonopin.” She went on to admit, “I do see the way that the way I medicated myself negatively impacted people around me and decimated my decision-making and hurt my creativity, and so I just feel, like, literally on-my-knees grateful every single day.”
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He celebrated his first year of sobriety with a big announcement. “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,” he wrote on Instagram on October 11, 2018, next to a photo of an Alcoholics Anonymous chip. “Turns out this s—t is hard. After some fits and starts, I’ve managed to put together one year of sobriety.” The American Pie actor also shared a message of encouragement: “If you’re struggling, there’s help. Don’t be ashamed. We can do this.”
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The rapper had been open about his former sleeping pill and Vicodin addictions in the past — as well as his relapses. But he remained relatively quiet about his continuing sober journey until April 21, 2018, when he posted a photo of himself on Instagram holding up an Alcoholics Anonymous coin with the Roman numeral X on it. “Celebrated my 10 years yesterday,” he captioned the pic.
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Though it’s hard for one of the most famous people in the world to do anything privately, Pitt announced in GQ’s May 2017 issue that he was relatively far into the process of recovery. “I was boozing too much. It’s just become a problem. And I’m really happy it’s been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that’s part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve,” the actor, who was about six months into his divorce proceedings with Angelina Jolie at the time, said. Not that it was easy. “Truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good,” he confessed of his drinking habits. But he stopped for a simple reason: “Don’t want to live that way anymore,” he declared.
The Harry Potter star revealed in GQ UK’s July 2011 issue that he hadn’t had a drink since August 2010. “I became so reliant on [alcohol] to enjoy stuff,” he said, adding that he frequently blacked out. “There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me.” In 2016, the star, who has said he preferred whiskey, told the UK’s Telegraph that he’d had a brief relapse — but was three years sober again at that point.
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The reality star frequently talked about rehab and sobriety for years. On August 9, 2018, she took to Instagram to share that she’d had a relapse — but was celebrating a year of sobriety once again. “This past year has been one of the hardest years of my life and I feel it’s time share that with you guys. To cut a long story short things got really dark… The only way I knew how to function was to self medicate and go from project to project so I never had to focus on what was really going on with me,” she wrote. Osbourne turned her life around through her own hard work and with the help of family and friends. “I could not have done this with out there love and support. I can’t believe It’s been a year!!!,” she continued. “I can whole heartedly confess that I’m finally at peace with myself and truly starting to understand what true happiness is.”
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