Bachelorette Meredith Phillips was handing out roses on America’s biggest dating show, but inside she was dealing with alcoholism by popping bottles of bubbly and knocking back shots.
Meredith has revealed that she was wasted while shooting the ABC reality show in 2004. “I was drunk every night,” the recovering alcoholic tells the new issue of People magazine.
Now 150 days sober, the former reality star is divulging of the extent of her addiction, which at its peak had her drinking 20 bottles of wine a week and blacking out daily.
“For years I’d wake up every day feeling like I was hit by a truck,” she said.
The depth of her depravity finally hit her when, “I realized I was going to kill myself,” Phillips says. “There wasn’t another path for me other than to stop… I am finally starting to live my life again.”
The image of a booze-soaked drunk is a far cry from the pretty brunette that Bachelor fans remember first vying for the heart of Bob Guiney, and then on Bachelorette season two as the main attraction when she got to choose between 25 dashing men desperate to date her.
While the series ended with a proposal from equities researcher Ian McKee, “happily ever after” was not on the cards for the couple and they split
in 2005 – spiraling Meredith into a vicious cycle of drinking and depression.
Soon, a bottle of wine every night was the norm, and used it to help her “loose up” in social situations. As her lust for alcohol began to take hold, 39-year-old Meredith’s beloved father, Edd, suddenly died from a heart attack in 2009, and then she broke up with boyfriend Fritz Manger – partly because of her drink problem.
Philips went on to marry high school sweetheart Michael Broady in 2011, but despite the burning desire for kids and a happy, stable life.
More family tragedy followed when her mother was hospitalized for cancer treatment, and Meredith hit the bottle agin.
“My lowest point was when I realized my mother was in a hospital bed dying and of cancer and I was at her house, drinking myself to death… I just didn’t care.'”.
Fortunately, she still had family looking out for her, and brother Matt finally confronted Meredith and paid for a stay in rehab.
Following a two month stint at a treatment centre in San Juan Capistrano, California, and a brief separation from her husband, she finally cleared her head and was able to focus on both her recovery – and then her marriage.