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Hasselhoff: Drunken video was ‘wake-up call’

David Hasselhoff told TODAY’s Ann Curry the infamous video of him on the kitchen floor of his Las Vegas home, eating a hamburger and hurling drunken epithets at his daughter was a “private matter” that should never have become public. But it was also a wake-up call and the message was simple and blunt: “Get help.”“For me it was actually a good sign because it was a wake-up call and it
/ Source: TODAY contributor

David Hasselhoff told TODAY’s Ann Curry the infamous video of him on the kitchen floor of his Las Vegas home, eating a hamburger and hurling drunken epithets at his daughter was a “private matter” that should never have become public. But it was also a wake-up call and the message was simple and blunt: “Get help.”

“For me it was actually a good sign because it was a wake-up call and it brought everything to a head,” he said. “Finally, I just said, ‘Look, this has all got to stop.’”



Hasselhoff’s battles with alcohol go back at least to 2002, when he first entered rehab. He had a DWI in 2004, and the British press reported last year that he was too drunk to board a British Airways flight, a charge he denied.



Then on May 3, the video of the 54-year-old groveling on his floor hit the Internet. His estranged wife, Pamela Bach, denies leaking the video, which was shot by his 14-year-old daughter, Taylor-Ann. He had told her and his other daughter, Hayley, 16, to tape him if he got drunk in order to show him later what he looked like when he drank.

“Tell me you are going to stop,” Taylor-Ann repeatedly asks him on the video. He was incapable of a coherent response.



“It’s kind of interesting how big this thing has blown up because it was really just a private matter between me and my daughter,” he told Curry. “I have a lot of love and respect for my daughters and they do for their dad. They were very embarrassed by what happened. It’s a private moment. Everybody in their life has a private moment that they don’t want to share with the world.”



He said his concern is for his daughters. He briefly lost visitation rights after the video surfaced, but has since had them restored. He and Bach were in court in Los Angeles on Monday for a hearing to determine which one of them should have custody of their children. Hasselhoff said the judge had asked him not to discuss the case, and he is honoring that  request. Another hearing is scheduled for June 15.



“This has all gotta stop,” he repeated. “Not just the drinking, but the press and the publicity. [It] has all got to stop. The real victims here for me are my children. I want to keep them out of the press.”



The folks at Guinness World Records say Hasselhoff, who starred on “Baywatch,” has been watched on television by more people than anyone in the world. He’s got a new autobiography out, “Don’t Hassel the Hoff,” and tonight he begins a second season as one of three judges on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” which is hosted by Jerry Springer.

Dealing with alcoholism

He said he’d prefer to talk about that show. "Watch America’s Got Talent. “That’s why I  came on the show, to talk about that.” But Curry asked him what message he has for the 17 million adult Americans who abuse alcohol. “This is a devastating disease. It kills people. It hurts people,” said Curry. “What do you want to say to them?”

“If you have a problem, you should just deal with it, whatever it is,” he said.



In his case, he said that his family, his “self respect” and AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, helped him deal with his drinking problem. “The real heroes in life are the people who pick themselves up when they get down and then get up and they get back in the race. They go and they get help.

“I love to drink,” he admitted. “That was the problem. Everybody loves to drink. It’s part of our society…. When it becomes a problem, he repeated, “Get help. It’s really easy, and there’s a great program out there.”

At the end of the interview, Curry reached over to shake hands. “Get well,” she told the star. “Good luck to you. Get well. Get well.”

Hasselhoff shot back: “Oh, my god, honey, I am well.”