Cory Monteith opens up about past troubles
“I’m not Finn Hudson,” Monteith says of his beloved Glee character in the exclusive interview with Shawna Malcom in Sunday’s PARADE. Discussing his troubled past as he never has before, Monteith explains, “I’m lucky on so many counts—I’m lucky to be alive.”
His parents divorced when he was 7, and by 13, Monteith—once a promising student who at age 5 could read at a fourth-grade level—was skipping school to get drunk and smoke pot. Monteith estimate s that by the age of 16, when he quit for good, he had attended 12 different schools, including alternative programs for troubled teens. “I burned a lot of bridges,” he says. “I was out of control.”
At that point, so was his drug use. Monteith admits, “I had a serious problem.” What kinds of drugs? “Anything and everything, as much as possible.”
Afraid that he “could die,” his mother and a group of friends staged an intervention when he was 19. “That’s when I first went to rehab. I did the stint but then went back to doing exactly what I left off doing.” Monteith might have continued down that path if not for what he calls “the crystallizing event.”
“I stole a significant amount of money from a family member,” he admits. “I knew I was going to get caught, but I was so desperate I didn’t care. It was a cry for help. I was confronted and I said, ‘Yeah, it was me.’ It was the first honorable, truthful thing that had come out of my mouth in years.”
He was given an ultimatum: Get clean, or the family member would report him to the police and press charges. Although it wasn’t the first time Monteith had taken something that didn’t belong to him (“A lot of things went missing when I was around; I had high overhead to take care of ”), up until that point he had avoided prosecution.
“I was done fighting myself,” Cory recalls of his turning point. “I finally said, ‘I’m gonna start looking at my life and figure out why I’m doing this.’”