Cory Monteith says in a new interview that he’s “lucky to be alive” after a rough patch as a teenager that landed him in rehab at the age of 19.
He says that by the time he turned 16 and dropped out for good, he had attended 12 different schools. His streak of bad behavior continued, he says, until his mom and friends staged an intervention for him when he was 19.
“That’s when I first went to rehab,” says Monteith, now 29. Unfortunately, it didn’t take: “I did the stint but then went back to doing exactly what I left off doing.”
Soon after that, though, he had what he called a “crystallizing event”: “I stole a significant amount of money from a family member,” he says. “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’s opening up about his past now, he says, to show that it’s possible to work your way up from a low point.
“I don’t want kids to think it’s okay to drop out of school and get high, and they’ll be famous actors, too,” he says. “… But for those people who might give up: Get real about what you want and go after it. If I can, anyone can.”