Not Being an Addict Is Nothing New for ‘Celebrity Rehab’

This week, former Real Housewives of DC cast member Michaele Salahi was booted from Vh1′s Celebrity Rehab when it was revealed she wasn’t addicted to anything (except, possibly, famewhoring). While it seems like Celebrity Rehab did the right thing by kicking out someone who wasn’t genuine, they’ve kept people on in the past for the same thing. Last season, former Tiger Woods and David Boreanaz mistress Rachel Uchitel claimed that she was addicted to love (somebody cue Robert Palmer!) and that going into rehab helped her hide out from the press, who was “lynching” her. She spent the entire season sucking up air time and space that could have been better devoted to actual addicts like Jason Davis and Leif Garrett. It’s possible that Rachel’s inclusion came about because Celebrity Rehab‘s sibling show Sex Rehab isn’t coming back, but the show has never shied away from recruiting cast members who come with publicity already included. I’m sure the network – and Dr. Drew – were salivating at the thought of filming scenes of Rachel (who lost her fiance on 9/11) standing around and weeping at the World Trade Center. (The scenes were filmed, aired, and milked for all they were worth.)

Another one of last season’s Rehabbers, The HillsJason Wahler, told Life & Style magazine that he had already gotten sober by the time he went on Celebrity Rehab. Jason, who got so little airtime during the season that I found myself hoping his appearance fee was paid up front, claims that Dr. Drew and the other producers encouraged him to start drinking again in order to get more interesting footage for the show. He also says that Dr. Drew didn’t follow up with him after the show ended or provide any aftercare.

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