Cara Delevingne Says She Got Sober, And Those Airport Paparazzi Pics Were A Wake-Up Call

March 8, 2023 / Posted by:

Cara Delevingne went through a rough time last year. In May, she made headlines for being Megan Thee Stallion’s “hype woman” at the Billboard Music Awards. In September, she was papped sans shoes, “behaving erratically” at Van Nuys Airport in LA. A week later, her buddy/Suicide Squad co-star, Margot Robbie, was photographed crying a few hours after visiting Cara’s house, presumably out of concern for her friend (although she later denied it). Then, a couple of weeks after that, Margot and Cara got into a physical altercation with paps in Argentina. Since then, we haven’t heard much from 30-year-old Cara. And now we know why. According to Page Six, Cara spent “some of December and most of January” at Utah’s Cirque Lodge rehab. And Cara opened up about getting sober for the April issue of Vogue. Damn, that’s a great way to hold yourself accountable. A post-rehab Vogue cover story! Too bad everyone in recovery doesn’t get one…

Cara tells Vogue that she’s been committed to sobriety for four months and counting. She was interviewed in late January, so math tells us she started her journey in the fall. The interviewer writes that Cara spent years playing “the beguiling mischief-maker,” but Cara admits she was dealing with some real issues:

“If you have problems going into this industry, they will only get magnified and exacerbated,” says Delevingne. “There is nothing about it that makes it better.”

Cara addresses the photos of her looking “disheveled and distressed” at Van Nuys airport. She says the pics caused her great shame and embarrassment, and it was a wake-up call to step away from “substances and alcohol”:

Delevingne had just returned from Burning Man—“I hadn’t slept. I was not okay,” she says—and was en route to a work engagement. “It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, Okay, I don’t look well.” She pauses to gather her thoughts, then continues. “You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.”

Cara talks about her mother, Pandora Delevingne, who has struggled with bipolar disorder and addiction to heroin and pills. Cara wrote a young adult novel called Mirror Mirror in 2017, and Vogue writes, “it was no accident that the protagonist’s mother was an alcoholic”. Cara says her mother’s struggles with addiction as brutal for both of them.

Cara says she first got drunk at age 7 years old after drinking a bunch of champagne at a family wedding. At age 10, she was prescribed sleeping pills to help with insomnia. At 15, she suffered a breakdown and was put on antidepressants, which she says saved her life. But, as a teen, she began trying to “escape and change” her reality with drinking and partying. Her mental health issues hit the fan in 2020, during the pandemic. She and Ashley Benson broke up after two years together, and Cara says that, without her a career as a crutch, she had “a complete existential crisis” and got wrapped up in “misery, wallowing, and partying.” Once the world began to open up again, Cara says she fell back into her old patterns: throwing herself into work and partying hard in her downtime. Then, last spring, her grandmother, Jane Sheffield (a former lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret), passed away:

For Delevingne, Sheffield had always afforded her a rare safe space as a child—a place to be herself, a home and a garden to play in. “I would stay with her in her house in the country. She looked after me a lot when my parents weren’t able to…. When I heard she had died there were a lot of things I had to process because I hadn’t seen her since Christmas the year before. I was really trying to pour everything I had into work, and every night I would come back from filming and sit alone and just cry. By the time I got to the Met Ball two weeks later I was fucking exhausted.”

When Delevingne, who suffers from psoriasis, walked the carpet of the gala covered in gold body paint, dry flaking patches of her skin were laid bare, visibly inflamed. “It was a sign of the major stress in my life,” she says, “that I couldn’t cope, that my body, this sensitive organ, couldn’t handle it.” But, she says, she didn’t hold back at the after-parties. “I went and got blackout afterwards. It was like, What am I doing? The day after, I had to travel to my granny’s funeral. It was horrible.”

After that, Cara embarked on a summer of self-​destructive and hedonistic revelry.” She was turning 30 in mid-August and planned a big blow-out birthday party, “the crescendo to a three-week-long vacation in Ibiza.” Cara wanted to go extra hard for her 30th cuz she realized that her hard-partying lifestyle wouldn’t be “sustainable” for much longer:

“I told myself, I should be having such a good time. I’ve got all my friends here. I need to be enjoying this. The house I was staying in had a tower and I would just kind of lock myself in it instead. I barely left the room.” She describes the feeling of foreboding as like “a slowly beating drum inside.” “There was this need for change, but I was fighting it so much. I was welcoming in this new time but I was also grieving. It was like a funeral for my previous life, a goodbye to an era. And so I decided I was going to party as hard as I could because this was the end.”

Things came to a head at the end of August when she flew from Europe to Nevada for Burning Man:

“There’s an element of feeling invincible when I’m on drugs,” she says. “I put myself in danger in those moments because I don’t care about my life,” she says. Her memories of that time are somewhat fragmented, refracted through substances that she doesn’t name, but aren’t hard to guess at—​whatever would ramp her up and keep introspection at bay. She recollects being covered in inexplicable bruises. “I would climb anything and jump off stuff…it felt feral,” she says. “It’s a scary thing to the people around you who love you.”

After those post-Burning Man airport pics went public, Cara says her childhood friends “rallied around her.” She explains that, in the past, she had “interventions of a sort,” but she wasn’t ready to get sober. She explains, “if you’re not face-first on the floor and ready to get up again, you won’t.” But, at that point, she says, “I really was.” Cara began her sobriety journey, and in late December, she checked herself into rehab and committed to the 12-step program:

“Before I was always into the quick fix of healing, going to a weeklong retreat or to a course for trauma, say, and that helped for a minute, but it didn’t ever really get to the nitty-gritty, the deeper stuff. This time I realized that 12-step treatment was the best thing, and it was about not being ashamed of that. The community made a huge difference. The opposite of addiction is connection, and I really found that in 12-step.”

In addition to her 12-step meetings, Cara is nailing down a daily routine, doing meditation twice a day, and attending weekly therapy sessions:

“This process obviously has its ups and downs, but I’ve started realizing so much. People want my story to be this after-school special where I just say, ‘Oh look, I was an addict, and now I’m sober and that’s it.’ And it’s not as simple as that. It doesn’t happen overnight…. Of course I want things to be instant—I think this generation especially, we want things to happen quickly—but I’ve had to dig deeper.”

Here’s Cara’s post about her Vogue interview and some more pics:

And here’s Cara talking about her struggle with addiction:

Well, good for Cara! To be honest, I’m not surprised that she had such a tough time during the pandemic. After all, Cara was one of the celebs featured in Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” video. If I’d been involved in that embarrassing stunt, there wouldn’t be enough tequila in the world to help me forget.

Pic: Vogue

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