In a new memoir, Harry Potter star Tom Felton has detailed his years-long struggle with alcohol addiction, and the words from his lawyer that saved his life.
The memoir, titled Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard, sees Felton, 35, detail his complicated time in and out of rehab, revealing how he fled a facility in Malibu just hours after checking himself in.
He explains that just 24 hours before, he had been unknowingly led into an “intervention” by his manager and lawyer.
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Per Page Six, Felton was made to listen to a number of letters penned to him by his loved ones, including his then-girlfriend, actress Jade Gordon.
Yet, he said it was the words of “the person in the room who I knew the least” that moved him most.
“My lawyer, whom I’d barely ever met face to face, spoke with quiet honesty,” he wrote. “‘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.'”
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Felton also details the drinking habits he’d adopted at that stage of his life, that were slowly ruining him.
Following the end of the Harry Potter series, Felton moved to Hollywood and found his life became filled with “crazy opportunity, elaborate nights out and – there’s no other way of putting it – cool free s–t.”
But the elaborate party lifestyle also led him to new, bad habits.
He began “regularly having a few pints a day before the sun had even gone down, and a shot of whiskey to go with each of them.”
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“For a while, it was lots of fun,” Felton added. “But only for a while. The gleam soon began to tarnish. I never knew I wanted this kind of life. And as time passed, an uncomfortable truth quietly presented itself to me: I didn’t want it.”
Felton revealed how his drinking had an impact on how he functioned and his career.
“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.”
He then revealed he had a second time at rehab, but got kicked out when he was found in the room of a girl at the facility to whom he had grown close to.
“I honestly didn’t have anything particularly nefarious in mind,” he wrote of the incident. “She had been quiet at dinner and I wanted to make sure she was okay.”
While living and volunteering in the area, Felton met actor, voice actor and activist Greg Cipes, who he credits for helping him out of his funk, and “reprogramming” his life.
Sadly, just a few years later, “the numbness returned” for Felton, forcing him to take himself back to rehab.
“I can honestly say it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make,” he wrote.
If you or someone you know would like to talk to someone confidentially about addiction, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit Reach Out. In an emergency, call 000.