Celebrity Rehab participant Leif Garrett said that before his time on the show with Dr. Drew Pinsky, he was sober but producers asked him to use on camera, so he did. And first-season participant Jeff Conway said producers asked him to lie and create drama.
Garrett reveals that in a Los Angeles Times feature story about the ethics of the show. He said that before going to the Pasadena Recovery Center, he sobered up, and after being clean for four days, producers “asked to get some footage of me using, and I said, ‘I haven’t been using.’ They said, ‘We really have to get footage of you using.’ Anyway, I was easily talked into showing them,” he told the paper.
A VH1 publicist said, “The show’s producers would never ask anyone to use…PERIOD.”
Meanwhile, Jeff Conway said that during his time on the show, “We all knew we were on TV. I think everybody, like myself, made choices. Sometimes we would go a little bit further than maybe we normally would. You can’t help it. There are cameras sitting in front of your face, and we’re paid to be dramatic. That’s what we do.”
But he also said that, when he wanted to leave, “I was in so much pain, I thought, ‘When I get out of here, I’m going back on pain pills.’ The producer said, ‘Can’t you just lie? Can’t you just not talk?’ I don’t think producers ever have actors’ best interest at heart. Their first allegiance is to the show.”
Garrett, like Janice Dickinson, praised Dr. Drew, however. He said Dr. Drew is “100% the real deal,” and Dickinson said “Dr. Drew saved my life.”