Harry Potter star Tom Felton has been found sobbing on a California beach after escaping an expensive rehab facility in Malibu – less than 24 hours after checking in.
“Suddenly, disappointment came over me,” he writes in his new memoir Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Chaos of Growing Up a Wizard. “I realize now that I was completely sober for the first time in years, and I had an overwhelming sense of clarity and anger. I began to scream at God, at heaven, at everyone and at no one, full of anger for what had happened to me, for the situation in which I found myself. I screamed at the top of my lungs to the sky and the ocean. I screamed until I let it all out and I couldn’t scream anymore.’
The English actor, who played Draco Malfoy in the Potter films, writes how he met “three kings” that night who helped save him.
The first was a gas station attendant who gave him water and $20; a second Uber driver who took him to Hollywood; and finally a bartender from his regular place who gave him a place to rest and a shoulder to cry on.
Less than 24 hours earlier, Felton had popped into his manager’s office to discuss a film proposal – only to find that he was, in fact, interfering.
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Letters were read, including one from Felton’s girlfriend, actress Jade Olivia, but the one that moved him came from “the person in the room I knew the least.
“My lawyer, whom I almost never met alone, spoke with quiet sincerity,” he writes.
“Tom,” he said, “I don’t know you very well, but you seem like a nice fellow. All I want to tell you is that this is the seventeenth intervention I’ve been to in my career. Eleven of them have already died. Don’t be the twelfth.”
Felton moved to Hollywood in search of work and quickly immersed himself in the heady atmosphere – including free designer clothes and loaner luxury cars.
“My world has become one of crazy opportunities, fancy nights out, and – how to say it – cool free shit. I liked it. Jade loved it,” he writes, noting that it’s almost impossible not to change yourself.
“It was a lot of fun for a while,” Felton writes. “But only for a while. Soon the light began to dim. I never knew I wanted this kind of life. And as time passed, an uncomfortable truth was quietly revealed to me: I didn’t want this… I was in a fortunate and privileged position. But there was something wrong with the life I was leading.”
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes star says he missed his old life and a normal conversation with “a real person who didn’t know who I was and didn’t care. I missed my mom.”
Felton began hanging out at Barney’s Beanery, an old-school bar in Hollywood.
Before that, he had hardly touched alcohol, and now “regularly drank several pints a day before sundown and a shot of whiskey with each one…
“It got to the point where I didn’t even think about drinking while I was working. I would have come across as unprepared, not the professional I wanted to be. Alcohol, however, was not the problem. It was a symptom.”
After Felton turned down a rehab center in Malibu, he found another one that was smaller and less fancy. But he was kicked out after he was found in the girl’s room.
“Several times, therapists caught me being complacent [a young woman] around the building as we pretended to put the containers out. One evening I committed a great sin by sneaking into a girl’s house and into her room,” Felton writes. “To be honest, I didn’t mean anything particularly nefarious. She was quiet during dinner and I wanted to make sure she was okay.’
Although the actor did not graduate from the program, he continued to volunteer at Venice Beach, handing out food. He also struck up a friendship with Greg Sipes, an actor, vegan, and activist who spent months spinning on a yoga mat at his house.
“That time really reprogrammed me as a person,” Felton writes.
The actor began to control his life, got a dog and was happy. So it was a complete shock, he writes, when a couple of years later “the numbness returned, without any warning and without any particular trigger.”
Felton says he had a hard time getting out of bed and eventually had to go back to a rehab clinic. “I can honestly say that this was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” he writes. “But the very fact that I was able to admit to myself that I needed help — and I was going to do something about it — was a big moment.”
Felton’s book does not mention it The 2021 incident in which he fell on the golf course during a celebrity tournament. He later blamed it on a severe case of jet lag.
This article was originally published by Page Six and is reproduced with permission
Originally published as How Harry Potter star Tom Felton escaped rehab, then got kicked out of another