Want to get away from it all? Try rehab!

To some celebrities exhausted by the fame game, a five-star facility is the ultimate holiday bolthole, says Simon Usborne

There was a time not far into the alcohol-soaked, drug-clouded celebrity past when the word "rehab" was a cause for alarm, when those whose stars had fallen so low had no choice but to remove themselves from their own lives, often by way of intervention and a carefully worded statement. If they could recover their livers, what about their public images, their careers?

Now? Not so much. When LeAnn Rimes checked into a rehab centre last week, she did so alone and voluntarily, just days after celebrating her 30th birthday, and motivated not even by a whiff of a weakness for drink or drugs. "This is just a time for me to emotionally check out for a second and take care of myself and come back in 30 days as the best 30-year-old woman I can be," the singer said, with more excitement than any sense of shame.

After it emerged this year that Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino of Jersey Shore fame had checked into rehab, his agent explained: "He is not in rehab for substance abuse. He has spent the last several weeks at an undisclosed location for much-needed rest and recuperation after his extensive production and appearance schedule."

Since when had the lines between rehab and relaxation, healing and holiday become so blurred? We don't know where Rimes is recovering, but the regime there is reportedly far from rigorous. Other rehab centres in the US with positive-thinking names such as Passages and Promises advertise their spas and swimming pools as much as they do treatment and supervision, all for as much as £20,000 a month.

The Situation did his time at the Cirque Lodge, a hot-tub-heavy chalet retreat in the Utah resort of Sundance. He later admitted to a problem that involved more than yawning (painkillers, specifically) but whatever the issues that drive actors and pop stars to take time out, the nature of recovery has become as hard to define as celebrity itself.

Rehab is a CV staple for those with hard-knock images to burnish and song lyrics to lend truth to. Where would Pete Doherty be without his yo-yo drug problems? As an "insider" told the gossip columnist Perez Hilton of the Situation situation, "clubs aren't going to want him to promote while stone-cold sober. His out-of-control character… is what's appealing about him."

For those with cleaner images to protect, rehab has become a byword for penitence, a cushy alternative to prosecution. That's how it started at least for Lindsay Lohan, today's first lady of rehab (a title that used to belong to Betty Ford, President Gerald Ford's wife, who opened a clinic in her own name after recovering from a drink-and-painkiller problem). The actress first entered a recovery programme after a drink-driving charge in 2007. Since then, however, she has been the anti-advert for rehab, after clocking up more visits than film roles.

She appears to be following the example of Ronnie Wood, the Rolling Stone who has completed close to a dozen stints, including as recently as 2010. But perhaps his approach has more in common with Rimes's. As Keith Richards wrote in his memoir, "Ronnie's idea of rehab was mainly a strategy to get away from the pressure… just to get the day-to-day living off their back." Who couldn't do with a bit of that?

Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Project Manager

    Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    IT Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London