‘Harry Potter’ star Tom Felton recalls going to rehab three times for alcohol abuse: ‘Drinking to escape’
“Harry Potter” actor Tom Felton is speaking out about his past battle with alcohol abuse, which caused him to visit rehab multiple times.
In Felton’s new memoir, “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard,” he shared that in his 20s he was drinking heavily to “escape” and revealed his struggles with mental health.
“Drinking becomes a habit at the best of times… When you’re drinking to escape a situation, even more so. The habit spilled out of the bar and, from time to time, on to set,” Felton penned, according to excerpts shared by Entertainment Weekly.
The 35-year-old star admitted he frequented multiple dive bars in Los Angeles, and it deeply impacted his professional work.
“It came to the point where I would think nothing of having a drink while I was working. I’d turn up unprepared, not the professional I wanted to be. The alcohol, though, wasn’t the problem. It was the symptom.”
Felton is best known for his role as Draco Malfoy in “Harry Potter” – Radcliffe’s nemesis in the mega-hit franchise.
The “Harry Potter” star got candid and addressed in his memoir that his ex-girlfriend, Jade Olivia, staged an intervention, which included having the plan to send him to rehab to help with his alcohol abuse.
Felton confessed that his agents, managers and lawyers had written him a letter addressing their concerns about his poor drinking habits. He noted he was “in no state to hear them.”
However, one letter made the actor change his perspective and “hit the hardest.”
“My lawyer, whom I’d barely ever met face to face, spoke with quiet honesty. ‘Tom,’ he said, ‘I don’t know you very well, but you seem like a nice guy. All I want to tell you is that this is the seventeenth intervention I’ve been to in my career. Eleven of them are now dead. Don’t be the twelfth.'”
He continued to say that he faced many challenges while attempting to recover, including escaping from a rehab facility less than 24 hours after checking in. Felton added that he was kicked out of another center after he was discovered in a woman’s room.
Following these incidents, Felton wrote that another rehab stint helped him get back on track.
“I am not alone in having these feelings,” he penned.
“Just as we all experience physical ill-health at some stage in our lives, so we all experience mental ill-health too. There’s no shame in that. It’s not a sign of weakness. And part of the reason that I took the decision to write these pages is the hope that by sharing my experiences, I might be able to help someone else who is struggling.”
In his memoir, Felton also shared that he secretly had romantic feelings for his co-star, Emma Watson. The actor admitted that there was “a spark” between him and the 32-year-old actress.
“I loved and admired her as a person in a way I could never explain to anybody else,” he wrote.