Supermodel Amber Valletta has come clean about her harrowing 30-year battle with drug and alcohol addiction.
“I suffer from a disease called addiction,” Valletta, 40, told MindBodyGreen. “I’ve had it for as long as I can remember.”
Amazingly, Amber said she started getting high at age 8 because she felt out of place and uncomfortable with herself.
“I sniffed markers, I sniffed glue, fingernail polish, anything that could give me a buzz,” Valetta recalled.
Her addictions grew over the years, and peaked during her 20s, when she was at the height of her modeling career. By that time, Valletta had become a full-blown addict who was abusing cocaine and alcohol on a daily basis.
Amber said she would show up at photo shoots high on drugs and didn’t care who knew. “I had a multimillion [dollar] deal and I showed up the first day to shoot this campaign high and drunk,” Amber recalled.
Drugs and Alcohol Addiction Are Common In Fashion
Valletta said being in the modeling industry exacerbated her addictions because alcohol and drug abuse were so prevalent in the fashion industry. “I was in a business that drugs and alcohol were widely acceptable and they were given to me,” she said.
Amber’s experience is similar to that of former supermodel Carré Otis, who starved herself, abused laxatives, did cocaine, chain-smoked and exercised nonstop to stay skinny at the height of her modeling career in the 1980s.
While Otis looked healthy on the outside, she was actually starving, and repeatedly lied to fans and to the media when asked about her diet and workout regimen.
“Whenever asked about my diet/workout, I would cite a healthy routine, the kind touted in women’s magazines,” said Otis.
Carre discussed her battles with anorexia, bulimia and drug addiction in her memoir, Beauty, Disrupted.
Wants to Be Role Model
At age 25, Valletta sought treatment after realizing she did not want to die. Amber said she has been clean and sober for the past 15 years but first had to get over the stigma of being an addict.
Valletta said she decided to go public with her drug and alcohol addiction in the hopes of inspiring others to get clean. “My hope is that someone will hear something that will help them and perhaps get them out of the shadows and the darkness of addiction and bring them into the light,” she said.
Manganiello revealed how he overcame alcoholism, homelessness, and got the body of an elite athlete in his bestselling book, Evolution.