Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is revealing the celebrities who expressed their concerns while he was struggling with addiction.
The 41-year-old rose to fame as a hard-partying, self-proclaimed “guido” on Jersey Shore — but by the time the original run wrapped in 2012, the New Jersey native was battling addiction to prescription painkillers.
In his new memoir Reality Check: Making the Best of The Situation, the reality star said he spent thousands of dollars on drugs during that time after having access to an “unlimited supply.”
“We consumed hundreds, if not thousands, of pills. Every day, all day. I officially had access to an unlimited supply of Percocet, Vicodin, oxycodone, and Roxicet, not to mention Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin,” he wrote in the book. “It had all begun by taking a pill here or there just to feel good and experiment, but eventually, the dream turned into a nightmare. I now needed this substance just to not feel violently ill.”
“When my lawyers and accountants later audited my finances, they estimated I had spent a staggering $500,000 on drugs, mostly cocaine and oxycodone, during those years,” he recalled.
Sorrentino’s addiction escalated to the point where fellow stars eventually confronted him about the problem, including Jay Leno and Whoopi Goldberg.
“A couple of times, Jay pulled me aside after appearances on The Tonight Show. I could see the concern in his face,” he wrote. “He’d witnessed it before and wanted to straighten me out. ‘You’ve got to make better decisions,’ Jay Leno told me on more than one occasion. He was a super nice guy, and I felt he was looking out for me. ‘You’re never going to last in this business going the way you are.’”
“Whoopi Goldberg was another one who spotted the tell-tale signs of my addiction and tried to call attention to my actions,” Sorrentino continued. “Many times, she graciously reached out to warn me that I was moving too fast. She had a very loving and caring manner about her that I will never forget.”
The father of three admitted that he wasn’t “ready to listen” at the time. However, a chat with Robert Downey Jr. “left an impact on me.” Downey has been sober for over two decades and has spoken openly about his own struggles with addiction in the past.
“As someone who had gone through the same addiction issues I was grappling with at the time, he recognized the signs: glasses tipped low, pupils pinpointed, my energy douchebag on blast,” Sorrentino wrote of the former Iron Man star. “Ours was a quick run-in, but the pleasantries quickly turned into a serious conversation. I remember he showed concern for my condition and implored me to be careful.”
Today, Sorrentino is eight years sober. Understanding that it’s a constant battle, he vowed to never return to those low points.
“During the throes of my drug addiction… I was my own worst enemy,” he wrote. “It has always been me versus me. Battling my demons. In my younger years, I didn’t know how to control those demons, and too often I lost the battles. But in the past eight years of sobriety, the tides have turned. I refuse to lose the war, though I still fight these battles every day.”
“Even as a now champion of addiction, I recognize that this is a lifetime fight against the monster lying dormant inside me,” Sorrentino added. “I will never stop working to ensure that the old Sitch never claws his way out and rears his ugly head.”
Reality Check: Making the Best of The Situation — How I Overcame Addiction, Loss, and Prison, is out Dec. 19.