Cory Monteith opens up about drug problems

Turns out Cory Monteith was hardly a teen as clean as Finn Hudson. The Glee star has dropped hints about his checkered teenage years in the past, but in a new Parade magazine cover story, he reveals more than ever about his previous drug use and criminal record. “I’m lucky to be alive,” confessed Monteith, 29.

The Canada native, whose parents divorced when he was seven years old, said he was already skipping school, drinking, and smoking marijuana when he was 13. As his teenage years progressed, he admits, “I was out of control.” From pot to harder drugs, Monteith says he would try “Anything and everything … as much as possible. I had a serious problem.” The actor landed in rehab at age 19 after his family planned an intervention, but it didn’t take.

Soon enough, he was thieving to support his habit. “I stole a significant amount of money from a family member,” he recalls. “I knew I was going to get caught, but I was so desperate I didn’t care.” When the family member confronted him, Monteith decided to come clean — and get clean. He evaluated his life and shifted his priorities.

Less than a decade later, when he skyrocketed to fame playing the clean-cut high school quarterback, it may come as a shock to fans that Monteith was, in reality, a lot more like Puck than Finn. For those who have doubted Monteith’s acting ability, these revelations put the dopey BMOC in a new light. But Monteith is quick to point out the difference between himself and his on-screen persona. “I’m not Finn Hudson.”

Still, he wants to make sure that he can set a positive example for his fans. “I don’t want kids to think it’s okay to drop out of school and get high, and they’ll be famous actors, too … But for those people who might give up: Get real about what you want and go after it.”

Read more:
‘Glee’ scoop: Ryan Murphy reveals season 3 secrets, talks ‘The Glee Project’ winner
‘Glee’ scoop: Ryan Murphy says he’s planning for the show’s characters to graduate this season
‘The Glee Project’ Exit Q&A: Ellis talks


Comments (109 total) Add your comment
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  • Hermione

    Was not aware of his drug past. Good for him for getting clean and going after something. Awesome.

    • Krystal

      Can we just talk about how he’s damn near 30 playing a 17 year old HIGH school student? What in the hell he doesn’t look thirty but still!

      • Rush

        Beverly Hills 90210: Luke Perry

    • Carlo

      I give him prop for stopping his drug abuse.
      Still mediocre & over-rated w annoying fanbase of tweeners obsessed w his carefully made up look. Muphy had it correct- graduate the old guy portraying a teenm Creepy!

    • Carlo

      I give him prop for stopping his drug abuse.
      Still mediocre & over-rated w annoying fanbase of tweeners obsessed w his carefully made up look. Muphy had it correct- graduate the old guy portraying a teen Creepy!

  • Larry

    (cough) Bullsh*t (cough)

    • k

      Why? Where’s your proof.

      • Wes

        Larry doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I went to high school with Cory and we used to bang 7 gram rocks because that’s how we rolled.

      • Lily

        Didn’t he drop out of highschool ?

      • alan of montreal

        I think he means during the time he was in high school before he dropped out

      • Rush

        Cory’s substitute teacher in high school was Charlie Sheen.

    • Hermione

      Which part? Cause if you’re saying he’s still on drugs I find that really hard to believe. Not with the schedules those glee kids have. I’m guessing you are just a troll though, so whatevs.

      • MCS

        Because Charlie Sheen had an empty schedule?

    • crispy

      I’m not buying it either. Seems like a nice story concocted by his publicist to counteract the squeaky clean image of his Glee character and earn him other opportunities. (And if you don’t believe that stuff goes on, you probably think Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are madly in love.)

      • Captain

        I love how people just say “You don’t look like a drug addict so you must not be.” Do you think all criminals look like thugs and hoodlums too? The guy has little to gain from this story and is reaching a lot of teens in trouble. I guess its useless trying to get through to a troll though.

      • crispy

        I love how naive sheeple believe everything they read on the internet. And yes, I’m sure he’s reaching so many teens… I hear Parade magazine just flies off the shelves at Hot Topic. You’re an idiot. But hey, last defense when someone threatens your perfect little fantard dreamworld is to call them a troll.

      • Me

        If this story was concocted by his publist he wouldn’t have already mentioned it some time ago in the rolling stone and signified it several times and you can’t tell me that he was just pretending that he had dropped school after 9th grade. Beyond that he really doesn’t seem to be the type that does things like that for publicity since he said in the same interview that he wouldn’t release an album just because he has the support right now and last week when he was sick he did a meet and greet while he didn’t go on jimmy fallon that day to talk about monte carlo like he was supposed to because he was sick. So yes, I think this story is real.

      • maggie

        He has been clean for 10 years. I dont think he would lie about a drug habit. He told Rolling Stone last year that he was really messed up. This isnt the first time he talked about it.

      • Lily

        This “nice story of a criminal and drug past” has already been published in Rolling Stones, but not in that much detail…

      • liza

        Like, why in the hell would a publicist make up a drug past? Seriously? Wow.

      • Cory’s Grandma

        Cory is a GOOD boy!!

    • Nicole

      No doubt lots of lying happens in Hollywood, but I don’t doubt this. His story is almost identical to my brother’s (minus the now rich and famous part) – it’s not like it’s unlikely. Seems to me like a way of getting a negative story out there on his own terms rather than have ‘Cory Monteith Secret Drug Past Revealed!’ splashed across a dozen tabloids. Good for him.

    • angie

      Of for god’s sake, have we now fallen to the point where people would accuse someone of MAKING UP shameful behavior (and yes, lying, stealing and illegal drug use are still things to be ashamed about) in order to be “cool.” Dear freaking God, what have Paris Hilton and the Kardashian freaks doen the world.

      • Lily

        Agree with you Angie…

    • Lindsay

      Yeah – something doesn’t add up here. He’s from Canada. How did he get into the USA, much less get a work Visa, if he has a criminal record? This doesn’t make sense.

      • Lily

        He did criminal things… It does not mean that it has been all put on record…

      • alan of montreal

        He probably had it as a youth and may have had his record wiped clean afterwards (we have a Young Offenders Act in Canada that treats crimes committed by youth differently from those committed by adults)

      • MrsT

        He wasn’t arrested or charged according to what it says here, that’s how. I read somewhere else that the family member gave him a choice — rehab or jail and he chose rehab.

    • Lindsay

      So how does a Canadian with a criminal record get admittance, much less work Visa, into the USA? Methinks this story is BS.

      • Nicole

        Being a drug addict doesn’t mean an automatic criminal record. Nowhere in the article does he say he was arrested.

    • Julie

      Even if it is a bunch of crap, at least he’s putting a positive image out there. He screwed up and is making something good out of his life. He’s a heck of a lot better role model than half the rest of young hollywood.

  • Lauren

    Geez, Larry, no need to be pessimistic. This is a great story and I completely agree with Hermione.

    • JD

      I’m with Larry. It’s about as believable as Bieber claiming to be a meth addict.

      • Sean

        Why the hell would anyone make this up about themselves?

      • crispy

        Because he’s been typecast. Duh.

      • Juan

        I love how everyone thinks they know how everything works with everyone.

      • Lindsay

        Perhaps because he’s entering his final season on “Glee”, so the resume for “edgier” roles will be getting polished. Nothing “edgier” for a young actor than the druggie/criminal past. This has all the odor of some publicist trying to reshape the customer’s image. OOOH!

      • Lily

        If a dark past looks unbelievable for Cory Monteith to you..then I think Cory can take this as a compliment…

      • Lily

        So does somebody has to confess that he/she has committed a murder in order to play the role of a murderer in a Hollywood TV series or movie ?

      • alan of montreal

        @crispy how could he have been typecast if this is his first role? Duh

      • lily

        @alan of montreal… maybe he is referring to the movie Monte Carlo. I also think that these revelations have to do with the premier of Monte Carlo that he is featuring in and not necessarily to GLee…

      • whatever

        I bet you feel like a f-ing idiot right about now.

    • Darrin

      And in other news from today’s headlines:
      Tom Cruise likes girls and is madly in love with Katie Holmes!
      John Travolta loves the ladies and is madly in love with Kelly Preston.
      Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are still virgins.
      Paris Hilton renews her membership to Mensa.
      Shocking! Just simply shocking!

  • Simon

    Alwas nice to see someone able to turn their life around. Good for him.

    • Sarah

      I agreee ! I never knew this about him and i love how he got better :)

  • Audrey

    it’s amazing how someone’s life can change as long as they want to change it.I never knew this about him. He’s a great actor, and he’s great as Finn.

  • Ginny

    Who?! I had to click on the headline just to see who the hell he is. Lohan would drink this little twirp under the table.

    • Fingerlakes Dave

      Get a life.

    • John

      Marry me?

  • Kevin

    So is he really sober? or just off drugs?

    • tina

      He’s sober and off drugs. You’d know if he was falling off the wagon, there’s a lot of attention on the Glee cast.

    • Brit

      I had already read that he didn’t drink alcohol, and now know why.

  • Joe

    Really like Cory and glad he’s a good example of overcoming one’s demons. It also shocks me that he’s actually 29 because he doesn’t look that old. Kind of bizarre Glee has 29 year-olds playing high school kids.

    • Ian Ziering

      I know, right?

      • Brenda Barrett

        Thanks for making me laugh.

      • Joe

        Now that’s hilarious! LOL

    • Captain

      90210 has a 32 year-old playing a high school senior.

    • Whisperia

      Luke Perry’s hairline was receding pretty good on the original 90210.

      • Julie

        And wasn’t Gabrielle Carteris like 35 when she was on the original 90210?

  • Delaney

    He’s been clean for over 10 years and he doesn’t drink he’s said in the past. It’s amazing how he completely turned his life around no wonder why he’s as kind to fans of the show and seems genuine, his past experiences have helped him become who he is today, Lindsey Lohan should have a talk with him.

  • Caryn

    His story is actually like countless other unfortunate stories. The difference is that he pulled through it. Now he’s reaching out to try and make a difference. He’s doing a lot of work with Canadian charities right now. He took time from his busy tour schedule to volunteer for an event for Homeless Youth.

    • Freelance

      Yeah, it’s like countless others. “I’m lucky to be alive.” “I almost died.” Meanwhile, I drank and smoked for 21 years, did acid for the first 5, smoked coke for the last 7, but am a well paid professional who’s been clean for 15 years.

  • Avon

    Are we sure he isn’t confusing he life with an episode or two from Degrassi: The Next Generation?

    • Brian

      Seriously? I can’t believe people think he would lie about it. If anything he would lie about NOT having had a past with drugs. Clearly you don’t understand the stigma related to publicly admitting you are an addict.

      • Captain

        Avon is just like all the other small-minded non-believers on this board who can’t open themselves up to the fact that drug addicts come in many varieties of people. They would just like to believe some kid from Glee is making up a story to get attention because that makes more sense to them.

      • blooms

        or Avon was just being funny and doesn’t actually care one way or the other – you know, like 99.99999999% of everyone else. seriously, get a grip people.

    • Lily

      He did not go to highschool… There must be a reason for that…

      • Linney17

        It’s called dropping out, brain trust.

      • lily

        Yeah because he was stupid or doing stupid things. I was just responding to Avon who was implying that Cory Monteith was a lie…

      • lily

        Correction …@ Linney17. Yeah because he was stupid or doing stupid things. I was just responding to Avon who was implying that Cory Monteith ‘ testimony was a lie…

  • sam

    it’s funny that so many of you think he’s making this up. He’s said a couple things about his past that i knew about before such as the many jobs he’s had and dropping out of high school. he’s mentioned he got into a lot of trouble before but i didn’t know it was to this extent. so maybe check your facts before you go and say someone lied.

    but i love Cory, because if he had never said any of this we probably never would have known he had those kind of problems in the past. from what i’ve seen in interviews and from meeting him last year when they were on tour, he seems to be a genuine, goofy guy. it’s awesome he turned his life around.

  • Jodran

    Wow, this is such a big thing! I can’t believe he came clean and was able to turn his life around.

    Makes thinking about all of the people in Iraq dying not even worth it. I’m sure glad he’s clean now. What a great actor.

    • TJ

      This was just a mess of post.

    • Will

      seriously, what does Iraq have to do with anything?

  • killer

    Everybody is yapping about his substance problems….but he used to be a thief! That takes a special kind of creep. He doesn’t say which relative he robbed. But I’d bet my Glee barfbag it was an elderly grandparent.

    • Sarah

      you’re an idiot

    • Julie

      Have a family member who went through the exact same thing after high school. It doesn’t take a special kind of creep. It just takes a messed up kid desperate for his next fix. Drugs mess up your system and you get to a point where you need it to “survive”. I say good for him for turning his life around.

    • June

      Good that he turned his life around. Though I think he’s a mediocre singer/performer, commendable that he’s giving a little back to homeless youth in Canada.
      I hope he made amends with the family member and paid s/he back.
      I wondered if he fell off the wagon for a bit because for some of the episodes of GLEE he appeared to be too crack skinny and then went to being back to Finn’s football body (though he still doesn’t look like a lot of my midwestern meat & potato cousins who played HS sports).

      I really think they need to let Finn/Cory graduate/move on. He seems like a nice guy, but jeez so unconvincing as a teen, more like college. Btw, I loved GLEE in season 1, but now I find the story lines ridiculous and sloppy.

  • Micha

    I am more shocked that he is actually 29 playing high school! I mean, I knew he was older than Finn’s age, but I had no idea he was pushing 30. No wonder he is going to be forceably graduated next year!

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