Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic candidate that ran to be the governor of Florida, spoke on Monday for the first time about his struggles with addiction and depression.
What We Know:
- Gillum posted on his Instagram a very candid description of what he endured and what he was feeling after he was found intoxicated in a Miami Beach hotel room with a man, Travis Dyson, suspected of overdosing on crystal meth. According to news reports, Dyson was a male escort that also worked as a gay porn actor.
- In the Miami Dade Police Department’s (MPD) incident report, the police were called to the hotel room for a drug overdose. When MPD arrived, they found Gillum with two other men and Dyson being treated by paramedics. The police report and pictures of the scene show plastic baggies with a white substance and pills strewn all over the floor and room.
- Following the March incident, Gillum withdrew from the public, and subsequently politics. He later announced he was entering rehab for alcoholism and going to therapy to deal with his depression.
- Gillum’s Instagram post focused on his personal journey and growth since the highly publicized incident. Gillum expressed his remorse, described how he is now managing through his issues, and talked about growing up with an alcoholic father.
“I knew I had to do something about it and I had to do it now,” Gillum said. “I knew that if I had not dealt first with issues of addiction with the numbing from the alcohol, I could not start pulling back the layers and talk about what was truly happening underneath.”
- Gillum said that he totally underestimated the impact that losing the race for governor of Florida had on his life. He admitted that he shut down and could not talk about losing the race because it made him feel like a failure, and he could not cope. Gillum said he was “suffering in silence.”
- In the 11 minute video, Gillum tells his audience “to not be like him” and “to not suffer in silence.” “Find the help you need because no one has it all together. Everyone is struggling and trying to be at home with themselves,” Gillum said.
- During the post, Gillum spoke about the pressure and impact of the pandemic, while also discussing George Floyd’s killing in Minnesota and the pressure he’s had to deal with as a Black Man in America.
Gillum had served as the mayor of Tallahassee before running for governor of Florida in 2018 against Ron DeSantis. He lost the gubernatorial race by half a percentage point.