New Weekly (Aus), October 31, 1994

Drug Addict Keanu

'Help me before it's too late'

by Jef West

'I realize how blessed I am... I'm not going to waste my life or kill myself with drugs'

Keanu Reeves is getting help for his drug addiction and swearing "I won't go out like my pal River". Keanu, the star of the smash hit movie Speed, has admitted he suffers from a deadly drug addiction and has been attending group therapy meetings in a desperate attempt to kick the killer drug dependency that took the life of his close friend River Phoenix almost a year ago.

"Keanu has been running in the fast lane of young Hollywood for years and now that he's reached major movie stardom, he's determined to clean up his act and enjoy the success he's worked so hard for," says a friend of Keanu's.

"He's finally seen the light and come to realise that if he keeps the party going he'll wind up just like his pal River - dead and buried."

Keanu cried when he told the group about how he had been dabbling with drugs for years. He had kept it to low levels until he met River Phoenix on the set of My Own Private Idaho.

Although the two young Hollywood stars had known each other for years it wan't until they were teamed together in Seattle filming Idaho that they struck up such a deep friendship. Hollywood speculated that the pair were having a real-life affair.

While in Seattle, River and Keanu were spotted at several gay nightclubs and more than one report from Seattle claimed they were seen with their arms around one another and kissing. River and Keanu, who played gay prostitutes in the avant-garde Gus Van Sant film both said the visits to the gay clubs and their bizarre behaviour were strictly 'research.'

What the press didn't report was the rest of the research that River and Keanu did, which would have only made sense if they were filming another Van Sant film, Drugstore Cowboy.

"River turned Keanu on to his favourite high - a deadly mix of drugs that included heroin, cocaine, pills and pot," says the friend.

"It doesn't take long to get hooked on a combination like that. And before the film ended, Keanu was in the same boat as River - hooked."

The film finished shooting and Keanu and River returned to Los Angeles, where the party for the rich and famous never ends.

River discovered a new thrill - GBH, a drug making its way through the LA nightclub scene. He couldn't wait to share his newest 'feel-good potion' with his buddy Keanu.

"GBH took over Keanu's life just like it did River's, until it killed him.

"Keanu took it really hard when River died. He kept insisting to pals that it could have just as easily been him that died and he swore to get on the wagon and quit using drugs.

"Keanu stayed clean for several months - partly due to the shock of River's sudden death. He also started filming Speed which required him to work long hours and was filled with physical acitivity and stunts."

According to Keanu's pal, once Speed was completed it didn't take Keanu long to return to his destructive ways.

Like most addicts, Keanu started drinking again and that led to taking 'light' drugs, like marijuana.

As Keanu learnt, the process of addiction is progressive, it gets worse with each passing day.

Most addicts who simply stop for a short period of time without any professional help tend to return to drugs with a vengeance.

Keanu fell right into that deadly trap and when he started using again he quickly became out of control. He painfully told the group about all-night drug binges, sometimes lasting days on end without sleep. He said he became a "24-7 user", (taking drugs 24 hours a day, seven days a week).

Group members all tried to help, but no one could get through to him. "I needed to hit bottom," Keanu admitted. "I needed to go as low as I could before I had the smarts to reach out for help."

Keanu told the stunned group that bottom was when he was almost shot in a seedy downtown section of LA while in a drug induced stupor.

"I passed out," Keanu confided, " and I woke up with a gun in my face. It was the scariest moment of my life. I thought he would kill me right there."

But luck was on Keanu's side and suddenly a cop appeared out of the darkness and managed to scare the attacker away.

Keanu has faithfully attended meetings since that terrifying day and has vowed to continue going to them for the rest of his life.

"I realise how blessed I am and how lucky I am. I'm not going to waste my life or kill myself with drugs."

Keanu tearily ended his confession by saying: "Recovery is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me.

"My only regret is that River isn't sitting in this room with me."


Speed , My Own Private Idaho


Guestkeanu reeves (2011-01-03 03:40:18)
 Keanu Reeves attented Sex drugs parties in the 80s and beginning 90s. Young fashion models where brought in who were drugged while teh actors were having sex with the girls who did not know anything.
Keanu Reeves drugged a female in the 80s to rape her together with a male friend of him.
(2011-01-04 00:01:38)
 I've read this story/accusation before. On the topix forum. At ugossip. Also at another forum. Give it up, dear. Or get professional help.

As for 'says a friend'... no real friend of K's would talk to the press, not about these matters. Case closed.

(2011-01-04 00:38:43)

No one hunts for food when there is a lavish banquet at their discretion at all times.

hmmm . . . I seem to have gone invisible again - lol. Can anyone see my avi?


(2011-01-04 01:27:23)

... no real friend of K's would talk to the press, not about these matters. Case closed.


No one hunts for food when there is a lavish banquet at their discretion at all times.

So true...

Anakin McFly
(2011-01-08 07:31:56)

Technically there have been cases of celebrity rapists who did it for the thrill, so I wouldn't dismiss it on those grounds; but in this case, I think a legit victim would do more than post an anonymous comment on a minor fansite without any backing.

@Adri - Same error as before; I forgot to deal with the problem in the comments after I did so with the forums. Sorry about that! Fixed it.

(2011-01-11 22:07:50)
 Thanks Ani :)

I know some did it for the thrill - that's why I said 'unlikely' ;) You're right about the anonymous comment.

GuestAdriana (2013-03-16 20:27:39)
 I have heard stories about him, about the parties where he was in the 80s..seemingly he and some frineds of him, used to go out and hunt fashionmodels. Its clear that his press agents would do everything they can, to hide his past. Europe has many stories about his drugs abuse and parties.
Anakin McFly
(2013-03-16 21:27:46)

Most of us are, first and foremost, fans of Keanu's work, and where we are also fans of him as a person it's for the good things that he's done in his life and the positive qualities that he embodies. I don't think any of us seriously think that he's a flawlessly perfect human being, outside of hyperbolic exaggeration. He has his flaws, he has his struggles, he has his dark side, just like any other human being.

Being a fan of Keanu doesn't mean we condone everything he does or stands for, and flawed, broken - even evil - people are no less unworthy of love, because love is not something that is earned through good behaviour.

If Keanu's done bad, that's as condemnable for him as it would be for any other person, and I wouldn't defend those things if so. But at the same time, no one is perfect. Everyone has done or at least thought some really horrible things in their lives, and suffered the same; often both. There are 'stories' about everyone, but focusing just on the bad helps no one (except where it is needed to be acknowledged for the sake of any victims involved). Celebrities just have the misfortune to have their every misdeed or less-than-stellar behaviour amplified.

Journalists have written before about the unreliability of European tabloids, where news stories were often cobbled together out of hearsay and conjecture. But that said, even if all you say is true, what do you hope to gain by telling us all the worst parts of Keanu's life? From what I can tell, while there are dubious things in his youth, he seems to have grown up since then and matured; and seems to have some kind of guilt, based on things he's said, talking about a need for redemption, or quietly claiming on a few occasions that he's not a good person. Which in itself takes moral courage.

Celebrity fandom is to some extent based upon an idealised image of the celebrity in question, and I will acknowledge that. But, as in the case of Keanu, if that very idealisation inspires fans to follow his perceived model and be kinder, more compassionate, more respectful; to read more, watch more, listen more, learn more, and to become a better person... then it seems that it can only be a good thing, and I see no value in trying to tear that down.

If Keanu has hurt people, as we all have, then at least let his fans be spurred to do good in his name.

Guestdifferent guest... (2013-03-17 11:13:40)
 Well said usual
(2013-03-21 03:04:26)
 "what do you hope to gain by telling us all the worst parts of Keanu's life?"

well, that is the question, innit? ;)

on drug addict keanu (2013-03-26 21:55:58)
 to anakin mcfly, thank you for capturing our sentiments on this matter. you are so fair and very objective. my take on this: in america's culture where everyone can sue anyone anytime, why did any fashion model victim came out and acuse Keanu especially now that he could afford to settle the case with his abundant earnings? God is so good to Keanu. He is so blessed more than what he asked for...the saying that a fruitful tree is often stoned applies to his status. Whoever keanu is, his fans are always supporting him.
Anakin McFly
(2013-03-26 23:17:54)

Well, to be fair, there are lots of reasons why any victim might not wish to come out and accuse Keanu now if they did have a legitimate reason to; there are so many cases in which such victims end up mercilessly villified by the public, even if they are innocent - like look at the number of people who were even blaming the victim of that New Delhi gang rape case, or recently in the Western part of the world, calling a 13 year old a 'whore' and bullying her relentlessly after two popular teenage guys raped her (and were proven guilty), because they didn't like how she made them look bad. So that alone isn't really reason to believe anything, because people suck and are cruel.

What is particularly questionable in this situation, however, is that we have yet to hear from any actual victim - all we've been getting is anonymous snide comments from people who only ever come to this site to insult Keanu fans - not even Keanu, but his fans - and seem to have no interest in providing any actual evidence beyond their wild, often contradictory, accusations, along with making all kinds of erronous assuptions about things. Which is basically trolling.

And honestly speaking, if a victim were truly afraid of ridicule and bullying if she were to go public, taking the case to sites like Topix or UGossip and depending on other people to post about it anonymously on Keanu fansites is... really the worst way to do so, and I can't imagine it making things better rather than worse.

Not to mention that all these anonymous comments are just hurting the case; if and when an actual victim ever decides to speak up, people would probably assume it's just another troll, what with all this. If these anonymous commenters were genuinely concerned about the victims, they wouldn't be whimsically making these posts. But then again I've never sensed any actual concern in these comments before, just malice and condescension.

Guest (2016-06-15 06:47:05)
 This is all bullshit. river's death was a murder attempt the ill*m*n*t*, they killed him. It was never a drug overdose.
(2016-06-21 19:14:15)
 There is no "ill*m*n*t*" no conspiracy to murder River, whose death was a tragedy that still saddens me. Let's get back on the meds now.

As for the initial bullshit article and the seriously bullshit anonymous story / accusation, Anakin has said what needs to be said. False accusations - if presented by an actual person in a public place - are libel and can be presecuted as such, which is why all the innuendo in idiotic, gullible places (we all know which ones) is how this appears. Probably the most important thing is that by "leaking" this crap in exactly those places, anyone with half a brain would know that it destroys any possibility of real legal action by the so-called "victim."
GuestOh geez. (2016-09-19 10:00:51)
 Hey ill*m*n*ti provoker person. You wanna talk about Rivers death? Cause I could go on about that all damn night.
GuestVerify (Oh geez guest) (2016-09-19 10:03:16)
 And just to verify the ill*m*n*ti provoker person is the instigator guest posting that number to join the freemasonry.
Anakin McFly
(2016-09-19 11:35:05)

Don't feed the spambot; I think they're attracted to any webpage that mentions the ill*m*n*ti. I'll edit the earlier posts to remove the references and see if it helps.
Guest (2016-09-19 11:46:13)
 I didn't know those even bots existed! Thank you for getting rid of the comment! :D -Oh Geez Guest.
Guest (2017-03-15 13:42:03)
 1) This whole article reads like bad fiction translated from a language other than English. It's laughable. I know drug addicts better than I care to. Keanu has never given me this kind of hopeless cause vibe. plus the date of this article in one year after River's death so I suspect this was nothing but a pure BS exploit piece.

2) Keanu has admitted several times to taking drugs. Nothing he has ever said fits anything in this article. He has talked about drugs as something he tried and walked away from because his work was a far greater priority to him. Some people can do that. Given how consistent a hard worker Keanu been all his career, I find it highly believable that he is one of those people.

3) Keanu has always been a misfit and a loner in Hollywood, but he's never been so vain to play that up so people often don't realize that. This also means he's a good target for slander and gossip because he has few people loyal to him to set the record straight and he himself rarely ever does so himself. He just seems to want to work and not deal with the Hollywood gossip mill. Weird, huh?

4) Keanu admitted even very early in his career that he didn't hang out with other actors, so take any gossip about him doing crazy shit in clubs with a lot of salt and plenty of skepticism. It was mainly River, with whom he had a very unique friendship, that Keanu hung out with outside of working who was anything of a visible celebrity and I recall a lot of talk of how River's behavior and other associations was putting distance between him and Keanu around that time, although Keanu has never talked about this and has always remembered River with love and kindness, like a real friend.

5) If you buy into astrology, Keanu's an insanely moral Virgo type, with moon, Venus and Mars in Cancer. I've dated men with a lot of Cancer and you couldn't make them go against their own moral code even at gunpoint. And he's got a freaky amount of Uranian energy in his chart, which means he's a headstrong, self-possessed individual who doesn't need direction from anyone. He knows who he is and he is not easily influenced. I think this may be one thing that always set him apart from the rest of Hollywood--he has a very strong inner sense of right and wrong, and he doesn't let other people bend him. Don't let his soft, sweet exterior fool you--he's tough, he's willful and he's no pushover. And like any Virgo, his focus has always been on working and proving himself through his work. I have a hard time seeing him as someone who could get sucked into the ugly creepy garbage side of Hollywood, even when he was younger.

This is not to say Keanu is perfect or a saint. But some rumors are just too vicious and mean, it really makes you think if they are just someone's petty attempt try to tear down someone just because they can't stand the idea that there's people like Keanu in this world who aren't as horrible as they are.

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