Leif Garrett says 'Rehab' producers urged him to use drugs
According to 1970s heartthrob-turned-heroin-addict Leif Garrett, VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew” helped him get high before helping him get clean.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Garrett revealed that he got into the spirit of the reality show early by ending his drug use four days before his on-air rehabilitation was due to begin. But that plan-ahead strategy allegedly hit a snag when “Rehab” producers decided to capture scenes of the embattled actor-singer's drug-filled days.
"They asked to get some footage of me using, and I said, 'I haven't been using,'" Garrett explained. "They said, 'We really have to get footage of you using.' Anyway, I was easily talked into showing them."
It’s a claim Scott Acord, the vice president of VH1 Communications, adamantly denied.
"The show's producers would never ask anyone to use...PERIOD," Acord wrote in an e-mail to the Times.
But Garrett isn’t the only “Rehab” alum to state that the show’s producers don’t always take the high road when dealing with celebrity addicts. Season 1 and 2 participant Jeff Conaway claimed the bigwigs are more concerned about good television than good results.
“I was in so much pain, I thought, 'When I get out of here, I'm going back on pain pills,'" Conaway recounted from his first “Rehab” stint. “The producer said, 'Can't you just lie? Can't you just not talk?' I don't think producers ever have actors' best interest at heart. Their first allegiance is to the show."
As for Garrett, despite his own allegations against the show’s producers, he has nothing bad to say about addiction medicine specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky, as he told the paper the host is “100% the real deal.”