'Jerry Maguire' Agent Comes Clean About Alcoholism
The sports agent who inspired Tom Cruise's Jerry Maguire character has revealed all about his alcoholic hell.
Leigh Steinberg admits he was "in denial" about his out-of-control boozing for years and it took the loss of his fortune and his livelihood to force him to make a big change.
And now, as he plans to get back in the game as an agent, he's hoping to help others struggling with alcoholism.
He tells Access Hollywood, "The world I lived in was the Disneyland of drinking, so it was very easy to be like everyone else, except that alcohol affected me more adversely.
"If I can help one person who is out there struggling to avoid the family devastation, the economic devastation, the loss of soul that comes with this then it's worth being out there."
Opening up about his self-destruction, Steinberg recalls, "After 2000, I sold my business for an ungodly amount of money... but there were a series of reverses that occurred - we lost a house because of mold, my father died, we had two kids that got very sick, I lost a fair amount of money in the Internet and then in 2006 I got divorced.
"All I ever wanted to do was be a great father... but I felt like Gulliver, tethered down with all these adversities coming... and the Lilliputians were sticking forks in me."
So he started drinking heavily and admits there were days when he would completely black out: "I wasn't reliable for a period of times and I ultimately lost my certification as an NFLPA (football) agent. Extraordinary amounts of money were going out and not much was coming back."
But he's now on his way back: "I have reapplied for my certification... I've got this bankruptcy to go through for a couple of months and then we're gonna go back."