Sick Celebrities


Elton John went to rehab to battle drug abuse and bulimia


Rock legend Elton John is among the many celebrities who have entered a rehabilitation facility to seek treatment for his issues. He is one of few, however, who sought treatment for two separate issues simultaneously.

After getting clean, Elton John spoke openly about his private battles in an interview in 1992. Elton explains his reasons for entering rehab to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“It really was Elvis Presley time again,” he said. “[Rock] isn’t a normal life. You get cut off from people, isolated. It’s easy to lose your values and self-respect. I got to where I didn’t know how to speak to someone unless I had a nose full of cocaine. Nothing could satisfy me. I used to complain about everything, right down to the color of the private jet.

“I had to change because I was frightened,” he added. “I didn’t want to die angry and bitter and sad, and that’s what I had become, physically ugly, spiritually ugly, a slob, a pig.”

He decided it was ultimately time to take control of his life and change in 1990. Getting help, however, wasn’t as easy as he thought, as at the time, there were no clinics in Los Angeles that would treat patients who wanted to battle addiction and bulimia.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was thinking, ‘You mean, I finally decide to seek help and they’re telling me no one will accept me?’”

He ultimately found a clinic that would treat him in Chicago, and says entering rehab is when the hard work really began for him. His biggest problem? His ego wouldn’t allow him to let people tell him what do to.

“I tried to run away twice because of authority figures telling me what to do,” he said.  “I didn’t like that, but it was one of the things I had to learn.

“I packed my suitcase on the first two Saturdays, and I sat on the sidewalk and cried. In the end, I knew there was really no choice. I realized this was my last chance.”

John’s close friend Diana, Princess of Wales, was also a sufferer of bulimia. In an interview on CNN in 2002, Larry King asked the singer whether he knew Lady Diana was bulimic. “Yes, I did,” he replied. “We were both bulimic.”

Now that he has been clean for years and is no longer battling an eating disorder, Elton John seems to be enjoying life more than ever. Looking back on his troublesome time, he told the Chicago Sun-Times: “Despite all the success, I think I just wanted to be loved. I wanted someone to love me.”

Other celebrities who have battled bulimia include Paula AbdulGeri Halliwell and Sally Field.


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