Denzel Washington’s secret life of Drugs & Booze
Fresh from the $35 million opening of The Equalizer, Denzel may be in a battle of his life with an addiction that could ruin everything.
Son of a preacher, a $15 million a film superstar and the leading African American actor of his generation, it’s hard to think of someone more admired than Denzel Washington in Hollywood today. His marriage has lasted 40 years in a town where divorce is the norm, and he has managed to keep his kids out of the spotlight and give them a normal life, but now it seems like his clean cut image may have just been a façade. Denzel spent the whole month of July partying non- stop on his yacht off the coast of Southern California. According to In Touch Weekly, Denzel was in such rough shape afterward that he stayed with a friend in Orange County to detox. Sources close to Denzel have been saying for years that the actor likes to drink until he passes out and that he also smokes an enormous amount of weed. It is also reported that the actor has an out of control cocaine habit. And, while he still manages to look good on camera, sources say that normally the actor looks ‘like hell, beaten and worn out.’
As expected, Denzel’s representative tried his best to deny the allegation and instead stated that he was merely spending time at his friend’s place undergoing a ‘ health cleanse’ and that ‘ he always cleans up after the family vacation.’ But, this certainly wasn’t the first time that Denzel faced drug related allegations. An eyewitness told In Touch Weekly, ‘I saw Denzel doing cocaine several times between 2008 and 2010.’ Moreover, when Denzel played a hardcore addict in Flight, the critics and the audiences, both went wild praising his performance. However, those close to the actor knew that he was simply playing himself.
Denzel, for his part, is very conscious of his image and makes it a point to avoid the party circuit. He makes sure all his debauchery is in private, so it’s something very few people know about. The source said, ‘He doesn’t go out and hit the town. He has his demons. It’s frightening to see him go down this path, and we only want what’s best for him.’
It’s still unclear what demons Denzel is battling. But, it’s clear his wife Pauletta has had no luck in helping him to stay sober, which is why he turns to his friends when he tries to clean up his act. Pauletta has stuck by Denzel for years despite his substance abuse and reported extramarital affairs, first with his Out of Time co- star Sanaa Lathan and then with Paula Patton, who he worked with on Déjà Vu. Some even think that it is his wife’s tolerance of his addiction and philandering that enables the star to continue his downward spiral. In an interview with Ebony magazine, Pauletta said, ‘I live with this man. I see the down
part. I see the sad part. I see every part. He has, and knows he has, stability in me as his wife. That’s what gives him strength, regardless if he misuses it. I can’t dwell on that. But, I do know that gives him a great platform to go and fly.’
In a way, it’s ironic since Denzel has been an inspiration for so many to rise above the drugs, crime and poverty of their neighbourhoods and make something of themselves, but in another way, it’s as if his own past is finally catching up with him. In an interview with The Sun, Denzel spoke about the life of drugs and violence he escaped in the Bronx. “Three of the guys I was hanging out with at the time did prison terms. I was not going to school either and was just slowly heading towards the streets. A teacher at my school told my mother, ‘He is a smart kid—get him out of here.’’’ Two of his friends went on to serve time in prison, while the third died of an overdose. Denzel credits his mother for being able to ‘see where I was heading’ and helping him find the right path to college and acting school. ‘What would have happened to me had it not been for my mother? I don’t know, but I would not be living this kind of life, that’s for sure,’ he added.
For all his personal problems, his professional life couldn’t be better. Raking in a $35 billion opening in the US, The Equalizer proved that even at 59, Denzel can pull off an action flick with the best of them. The Oscar winner recently participated in Reddit’s ‘Ask Me Anything’ chat to promote the film and showed that he was still ambitious and by no means ready to hang up his boots. When asked about the possibility of playing James Bond, he was surprisingly game. Denzel said, ‘The next James Bond? Yes, I would! Who’s doing James Bond now—Daniel Craig? Everybody should tweet Denzel is James Bond! We start the Denzel is Bond campaign today!’
While Denzel and his fans seem enamoured with the idea of having the actor play the first black James Bond, the scenario seems very unlikely. And, it’s not because of his race or age, but mainly because of his drug addiction.
Hopefully, there is still time for the actor to pull up his socks and turn things around because as one of the last few old school movie stars, he is in a unique position to influence people. Moreover, it would be a classic tragedy to lose such a talent to drugs.
‘I LIVE WITH THIS MAN. I SEE THE DOWN PART. I SEE THE SAD PART. I SEE EVERY PART. HE HAS, AND KNOWS HE HAS, STABILITY IN ME AS HIS WIFE. THAT’S WHAT GIVES HIM STRENGTH, REGARDLESS IF HE MISUSES IT”