Andy Lessner, executive producer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is bravely opening up about his addiction journey and the complicated road to recovery. In a feature, he told Variety of his initial descent into alcoholism, which began with a cup of wine:
"“I drank it and went ‘Wow.’ Suddenly I felt like other people. Suddenly I’m calm; I don’t feel so ugly or so short. Everything became OK. That triggered in my brain that this is something that makes me feel good.”
Alcoholism sadly developed into addiction to hard drugs and hiding his problems from his friends and family. He eventually got sober, but a relapse in the 1990s saw Lessner even going so far as to swig Listerine to get a hit of alcohol and leaving his infant in a cab to score drugs.
After a stint in an Arizona rehab, Lassner got sober again. His close relationship with Ellen DeGeneres is canon on the chatfest, and he is taking his sobriety day by day while encouraging others to seek help if necessary. He noted:
"Twenty years doesn’t matter. I’m just sober today. I do feel a responsibility to talk about it and say to people, ‘You can do it. Don’t tell me about hopelessness. I get it. I was there with you.’ ”