Gillum discusses depression, alcoholism after time in rehab

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 18:51:57-04

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum discussed his battle with depression and alcoholism Monday during his first public statement since entering rehab in March.

Gillum apologized to supporters in an 11-minute Instagram video and explained that the depression he had been fighting for years worsened after losing his 2018 race to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"I totally underestimated the impact that losing the race for governor had on my life," Gillum said.

Gillum thanked his wife for her support in the video. The couple have three children.

Fire rescue crews and police officers responded to the Mondrian South Beach hotel in Miami Beach in March for a suspected drug overdose. Gillum and two other men were in the hotel room, and Gillum was inebriated, police said.

When officers arrived, Gillum was so intoxicated he could not communicate, police said. Police found a substance in the room that appeared to by crystal methamphetamine, but Gillum was not charged with a crime. He left the hotel after rescue workers confirmed that he had stable medical signs. One of the other men was taken to a hospital, according to the police report.

Gillum said previously that he was in Miami Beach for a wedding and did not use illegal drugs. After the hotel room encounter became public, Gillum announced he was entering a rehabilitation facility.

Gillum, 40, was the first Black nominee in a major political party to run for governor in Florida. After the electoral defeat, the former Tallahassee mayor mounted an effort to register Democratic voters in Florida and frequently appeared on cable news channels as a political commentator.