Thursday, May 23, 2024

Aaron Sorkin Tells NY Times He Had a Stroke, Paper Strangely Omits His Perilous History with Drug Addiction


I like Aaron Sorkin very much and admire his plays and movies. But still, today he tells the New York Times he had a stroke last November and they slough it off like it was the result of smoking, drinking, and eating red meat.

Alas, Sorkin had a vicious drug problem 20 years ago. It wasn’t a secret. He was in the newspaper constantly. He told TV Guide that he smoked crack cocaine daily while writing the 1995 movie “The American President.” He was treated for cocaine addiction in 1995. Sorkin was thought to have had success with rehab.

But that wasn’t the end of it: in 2001 he was arrested at Burbank Airport for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana, and crack cocaine. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and two felony counts, and was allowed to enter a drug treatment program instead of serving prison time.

“You know how I got addicted to cocaine? I tried it,” Sorkin announced in a commencement address he delivered at his alma mater, Syracuse University, in 2012.

The good news is that Sorkin has been drug free for the last two decades, so he’s a success story, thank goodness. But it’s a little disingenuous not to mention all of this in light of Sorkin being told his blood pressure was so high “you should be dead.” He attributes the stroke — which included slurring of words and being unable to writing his own name — to heavy smoking. Um, New York Times science writers might have a different idea.

Anyway, Sorkin has written an updated version of “Camelot,” opening on Broadway April 13th. And again, thank goodness he changed his life two decades ago and was able to go to write such important creations as “The Social Network” and the update of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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