Former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum says he’s entering rehab to treat his alcohol addiction.
The announcement comes just days after an “inebriated” Gillum was found inside a Miami hotel room with a male friend who had possibly overdosed, and where authorities seized multiple baggies of suspected crystal meth.
After deep reflection and talks with his family, the former Tallahassee mayor said in a March 15 statement that he’s resolved to seek the help he needs.
“This has been a wake-up call for me,” said Gillum, adding that, “Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse. I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism, and I know the damaging effects it can have when untreated. I also know that alcoholism is also a symptom of deeper struggles.”
The rising political star, who lost narrowly to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida’s 2018 gubernatorial race, apologized to his family, friends and supporters, and said he’ll be stepping away from “all public facing roles for the foreseeable future.”
He continued, “I now need to firmly focus on myself and my family.”
According to a Miami Beach PD report, authorities responded to a room at the Mondrian South Beach hotel in the early morning of Friday, March 13. There they found Gillum, 40, in the company of two other men, including one who was being treated by fire-rescue staff for a possible drug overdose.
Police also said they observed three plastic baggies of suspected crystal meth “on both the bed and floor of the hotel room.”
In an earlier statement after news of the incident broke, Gillum acknowledged having too much to drink but denied ever doing drugs.
“I want to be clear that I’ve never used methamphetamines,” he said. “I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement.”
The complainant, identified as Aldo Mejias, told police that when he arrived to the hotel room just after 11 p.m. Thursday, he found Gillum and the other man, Travis Dyson, under the influence of an “unknown substance.” He said he also saw Gillum in the bathroom vomiting.
Mejias called for help when Dyson, who suffered a medical emergency, suddenly collapsed on the bed, was vomiting and began having trouble breathing.
Officers who arrived on the scene said they attempted to speak with Gillum, but were unsuccessful.
“Mr. Gillum was unable to communicate due to his inebriated state,” the police report states.
Dyson, who once purported to be a “porn star performer” and advertised his services as a gay male escort on RentMen.com, according to Local 10 News, was hospitalized in stable condition. Officials returned to the hotel to check on Gillum; he was also determined to be in stable condition and sent home “without incident.”
No charges or arrests were made in the case, and police say they have no plans to pursue criminal charges.
Through it all, Gillum said he is committed to “doing the personal work to heal fully and show up in the world as a more complete person.”
Gillum and his family have requested privacy at this time.