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While doing press for her new film Till Death, Megan Fox revealed what motivated her to quit drinking alcohol. In an interview with Who What Wear, the 35-year-old actress shared the story of her drunken experience at the Golden Globes in 2009. Fox recounted drinking too much champagne during the event which influenced her behavior on the red carpet.
“I was sat at a table with Blake Lively and all 3 Jonas Brothers. At the Golden Globes, they always put those giant bottles of Moët & Chandon champagne on the table. I went through multiple glasses of that,” said Fox.
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Moët & Chandon was founded in 1743 and has been the official drink of the Golden Globes for 30 years. Each year at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s award ceremony 7,500 glasses of champagne are consumed. In 2020, 125 cases of champagne were provided for the indoor portion of the event and the brand designed mini bottles with drinking funnels for portability on the red carpet.
Fox characterized her actions as “belligerent” post drinking alcohol during the ceremony. Fox went on the red carpet and made some regrettable comments to the press. These comments are the reason Fox quit drinking.
“Now I don’t drink and this is why. I got in trouble for whatever I said on the red carpet at this event. I don’t remember why but I know that I did. You can look that up.”
Footage from TMZ of the 2009 interview shows Fox using an offensive term for transgender people and then vocalizing her feelings of insecurity that night. She told the reporter that she was on the verge of vomiting because she was so horrified, embarrassed, and scared.
Fox is certainly not the only attendee in the history of the Golden Globes to let their drinking get out of hand. In 2014, British actress Emma Thompson presented the Best Screenplay award with her shoes in one hand and a martini in the other. Later Thompson commented on her barefooted appearance saying, “Unfortunately my category came up rather late in the evening, so I was a couple of sheets to the wind.”
Other celebrities have made the same decision to quit drinking alcohol like Fox. In 2020, model and television personality Chrissy Teigen went public with her recent sobriety. Teigen posted a comment on Instagram saying, “I am tired of making an (expletive) of myself in front of people.”
Actor Ben Affleck’s 2019 relapse was made public when TMZ released a video of him stumbling while drunk on Halloween. Affleck has since said this was just a small slip up which is part of his recovery process. He wants to remain sober for his children. “What if my dad gets drunk? What if he does something stupid? What if he ends up on TMZ and its on my newsfeed for other kids to see?” Affleck told Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America.
In 2006, actor Mel Gibson, who began drinking at age 13, had a very public antisemitic rant while being arrested for a DUI. Gibson was sent to court ordered rehab. In 2010, Gibson’s girlfriend at the time, Oksana Grigorieva, secretly recorded audio of the actor as he aimed another derogatory rant at her. Gibson joined Alcoholics Anonymous, which he calls the “spiritual path for the psychopath” and has been sober for 10 years. He has described his outburst against Grigorieva as the worst moment of his life. Gibson told Australia’s Sunday Night Channel 7, “Imagine the worst moment you have ever had being recorded and broadcast to the world, and it wasn’t meant to be public. You didn’t stand on a soapbox, but that’s what happens.”
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Alcohol use disorders (AUD) don’t discriminate and can affect anyone, even celebrities. The pressures of performance, fame, and public scrutiny that celebrities face can lead some down the destructive path of substance abuse. To cope with the stress and anxiety of stardom, celebrities may turn to alcohol. Once an individual feels some sort of relief through drinking alcohol, there is a higher chance that they will repeat the action when stress returns. This repetition of stress and feeling of relief is what causes an addiction to form.
Celebrities are more likely to deny their struggles with an AUD. It is possible that they feel removed and protected from normal life problems, such as the risk of losing their job. Because of this, celebrities often hit rock bottom before seeking treatment to quit drinking alcohol. Like Mel Gibson, rock bottom for celebrities is frequently a run in with the law. Unfortunately waiting to treat an AUD makes recovery much more difficult as addiction is a progressive illness.
Like Megan Fox at the 2009 Golden Globes, celebrities may drink alcohol at events to cope with a social anxiety disorder. Also called social phobia, social anxiety disorder is the fear of social situations like eating or speaking in public. 1/5th of patients with a social anxiety disorder also struggle with an AUD. While people with high levels of social anxiety report that alcohol makes them more comfortable in social situations, it is possible that this is the result of their own expectations. An individual who fully believes alcohol can reduce stress has positive expectancies and is likely to drink excessively. The opposite can be true as well. If an individual has negative expectancies about alcohol’s effects, they typically do not drink because they may fear looking more foolish.
Ultimately, research has not shown support for alcohol’s effectiveness in reducing stress or social anxiety. Other methods like psychotherapy and prescribed medications are more suited for coping the stress and social anxiety one may experience. For celebrities, or anyone struggling with an AUD, it is never too late to quit drinking alcohol.
Emily Murray is a Digital Content Writer at Addiction Center. She earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with Behavioral/Social Sciences and Art concentrations along with a Journalism minor from the University of Central Florida. Dedicated to creativity and conciseness, Emily hopes her words can be of service to those affected by addiction.