Cara Delevingne opens up about getting sober after paparazzi photos of her went viral

‘I hadn’t slept. I was not okay,’ the actor says about the photos

Amber Raiken
New York
Wednesday 08 March 2023 15:51 GMT
Related: Cara Delevingne turned up to the Met Gala topless

Cara Delevingne has opened about her sobriety journey and how it started after paparazzi photos of her in an airport quickly went viral.

The 30-year-old model spoke about the pictures, taken in Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles last year, during her cover story interview with Vogue. The pictures, which the publication notes showed her “looking dishevelled and distressed” prompted fans to question Delevingne’s mental health.

The images ultimately became a wake-up call for Delevingne and encouraged her to reflect on her relationship with alcohol and substances.

“I hadn’t slept. I was not okay,” she said about the pictures, which were taken as she was returning home from Burning Man. “It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, ‘Okay, I don’t look well.’”

She added: “You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.”

Delevingne noted that while she’s been encouraged to go to rehab in the past, she didn’t truly push herself to do so until September.

“I’ve had interventions of a sort, but I wasn’t ready. That’s the problem. If you’re not face-first on the floor and ready to get up again, you won’t. At that point, I really was,” she added, referring to when the paparazzi photos came out.

She said that when she checked herself into a mental health facility towards the end of 2022, this was her first time seeing a therapist in “three years”. The Only Murders in the Building star also confessed that she had a lot of “work” to do to get sober.

“I just kind of pushed everyone away, which made me realise how much I was in a bad place. I always thought that the work needs to be done when the times are bad, but actually the work needs to be done when they’re good,” she continued. “The work needs to be done consistently. It’s never going to be fixed or fully healed but I’m okay with that, and that’s the difference.”

Delevingne said that committing to the 12 step program for addiction recovery was the “best thing” for her.

“Before I was always into the quick fix of healing, going to a weeklong retreat or to a course for trauma, say, and that helped for a minute, but it didn’t ever really get to the nitty-gritty, the deeper stuff,” she explained. “This time I realised that 12-step treatment was the best thing, and it was about not being ashamed of that. The community made a huge difference. The opposite of addiction is connection, and I really found that in 12-step.”

The model also shared that when her paparazzi photos went viral, many of her childhood friends reached out to her. However, she said that she struggled to let them help her.

“They ride for me and I love my friends so much, but it felt like a lot of the time, they were shallow relationships only because I wasn’t able to be honest about the things I was going through,” she said. “I didn’t want to burden anyone. It was also like, What if people leave? If you ask any of my friends, they would say they’d never seen me cry.”

She confessed that she then realised that she needed her peers, adding: “From September, I just needed support. I needed to start reaching out. And my old friends I’ve known since I was 13, they all came over and we started crying. They looked at me and said, ‘You deserve a chance to have joy.’”

Elsewhere in her interview with Vogue, Delevingne talked about her family’s history with addiction and her mother, Pandora Delevingne, who has previously spoken out about being an alcoholic.

“For a long time, I didn’t really put myself in her shoes,” the Paper Towns star shared. “I just needed someone to be angry at and I was angry at her, but it wasn’t her fault…. The way that addiction took my mother from me was brutal, and it was brutal for her too.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, you can confidentially call the national alcohol helpline Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or visit the NHS website here for information about the programmes available to you.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.

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