“I Was Addicted to Crack” was the headline that was blasted across a photo of reality star/actress Roxy Olin on the pages of US Weekly‘s May 17 issue. The City‘s Roxy was not the first celeb to reveal a troubled past — just a few weeks ago, it was Party of Five alum Jeremy London opening up to People magazine about his prescription drug addiction, rehab and recovery — and she’ll certainly not be the last. But her US profile was a good lesson in the ways celebrity publicists and celebrity tabloid magazines handle such revelations.
US framed the story with an intro about Roxy and her background as the daughter of “Hollywood vets” Patricia Wettig and Ken Olin. Then the magazine let Roxy tell the story of her addictions — starting with pot and moving into cocaine, OxyContin and other prescription drugs, and then finally crack — in her own words. The story started with her reasons for trying drugs, “I was made fun of for how bad I was in school. Drugs became my excuse,” and ended with rehab, recovery and redemption. “I started over with new friends, because I can’t be near people who use,” Roxy wrote. “When I got The City in 2009, things really took a turn…For the first time since I was 15, I can say I love my life.”
Everything about the Roxy piece was — from a publicity stand point — well done. “I think she did it the right way,” a publicist told Crushable. The story, for readers, isn’t half bad either. Celeb stories of hardship and recovery, and any story about overcoming addiction, makes for good reading. The key, for the subject, is to give away enough of the juicy details, like how often they used, their drugs of choice and their reasons for using, to sound credible, honest and believable.
Now, the key for Roxy, and Jeremy, and any other celeb who has gone through rehab — even Jesse James or Tiger Woods — is to lay low and “portray the image that you want people to see,” our PR source told Crushable. “Present yourself as you want to be seen and viewed.”
For some, like Lindsay Lohan, changing your stripes isn’t easy. But revealing deep dark secrets like drug abuse and recovery or rehabbing a soiled image requires dedication. And sometimes, that means waiting until you are ready to deal with the change. For example, Charlie Sheen isn’t ready for an Oprah sit-down yet, our publicist source said. But don’t doubt that he may end up there eventually.