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Supermodels of Sobriety

For every tee-totaling cat-walker like Claudia Schiffer, there are countless others who've made headlines for their problems with alcohol and drugs. Meet 10 troubled beauties who tackled their demons—and won.

  • Jodie Kidd

    Discovered at the tender age of 15, this British modeling sensation went on to appear on the cover of Elle, British Vogue and hundreds of other top fashion titles, and starred in a notorious ad campaign for Yves Saint Laurent. But her career came to a screeching halt in September 2007, when she was busted after trying to score cocaine in a London nightclub. After the scandal she lost numerous high-profile endorsement deals and was dropped by her modeling agency in July of 2008 because of a reported weight gain. Now 33, she talks to teens about drug abuse and has tried her best to keep out of trouble. She recently appeared on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing and gave birth to a baby boy. “Being a mother beats anything I've ever done by a mile,” she says. “I feel very blessed.”

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  • Lisa D’Amato

    One of the most recognizable contestants on America’s Next Top Model, D’Amato gained a rap during the show’s fifth season as something of a party girl. Although she checked into Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew for abusing a number of substances—including marijuana, alcohol and cocaine—she blamed Top Model for most of her problems. “I really couldn’t shake my image on that show...party girl, wild child,” D’Amato complained. “It really hindered my career.” Since the show ended, she's stayed out of trouble and has removed herself from the modeling industry, focusing instead on a career in music. She still maintains that she never really struggled with substances. “In terms of an addiction, I don’t know if I could have gotten one,” she has said. “That’s something we’ll never be able to see because luckily, I got help.”

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  • Naomi Campbell

    For over a decade, neither police officers, therapists or housekeepers were safe from the wrath of this manic mannequin. Her well-publicized assaults repeatedly landed her in court, and she allegedly tried to kill herself several times. The British born millionaire now claims her behavior was the result of a cocaine addiction that took over her life at the peak of her career. “I never, ever had to have a dealer, as you call them,” the 41-year-old says. “It was always very easy to get handed to you whenever you wanted it.” Though she insists she's been drug-free for over seven years, Campbell still has a remarkable ability to garner ink, as evidenced by her appearance last summer at a war crimes trial against former Liberian president Charles Taylor. During her testimony, she complained to the presiding judge that being forced to appear was a big inconvenience. “I am ashamed of everything I’ve ever done,” she told Oprah Winfrey in a teary  2010 interview. “I take responsibility for all of it.”

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  • Bridget Hall

    By the time Hall reached her 18th birthday, the Arkansas beauty had appeared on the cover of Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan, among others and was listed by Forbes in 1995 as was one of the top 10 best paid supermodels in the world. After appearing in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues from 2002-2006, her modeling career began to largely cool off. Most recently, Hall made headlines for a DWI arrest in September, 2010, where she leaned on the old chestnut of blaming her failed sobriety test on a faulty machine. She has managed to avoid any alcohol-related incidents since then, but continued her string of ridiculous excuses when was arrested earlier this year for driving without a license and cited the high cost of taxis in East Hampton, New York as the reason.

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  • Angie Everhart

    The model and actress graced the pages of numerous magazines throughout the 90s and early 2000s including Elle, Glamour, and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, as well as appearing in movies such as the Schwarzenegger action flick Last Action Hero, Her exposure has been limited primarily to reality shows in the last decade, including Celebrity Mole and The Ex-Wives Club. Most recently, she grabbed headlines for a May-December romance with actor Joe Pesci that led to an engagement, and several alcohol related run-ins with the law. She was arrested for DUI in 2008 and then failed to appear in court the following year for a hearing stemming from that arrest, although she has managed to stay out of trouble since then.

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  • Carre Otis

    The former face behind Guess Jeans and Calvin Klein in the late 80s and early 90s, Otis saw her issues with drugs and anorexia—as well as a turbulent marriage to actor Mickey Rourke take away her career in its prime. “Cocaine was just what people were doing,” Otis recently told The Fix. “You’re getting ready for hair and make-up and people are doing blow off the table.” After getting clean in 1996, Otis became, at age 31, one of the oldest models to appear in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and even found success in the plus-size modeling industry. Most recently, she has released a tell-all book that chronicles her journey through the fast decadence of her modeling career. These days, she is a full-time mother of two children and lives with her husband in Colorado. “As a mother of two young girls, there is a practicality to every single thing I do and every choice I make,” she told us. “I am constantly weighing everything against my motherly duties first.”

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  • Amber Smith

    The former model appeared on the covers of numerous magazines in the mid-90s including Elle, Marie Claire and Playboy, and achieved success on the big screen with her role in L.A. Confidential. When her career began to dwindle, her opiate habit spiraled out of control, costing Smith as much as $450 per day and ultimately leading her to prostitution. “Anything went when it came to getting drugs,” Smith says. “I lost a lot of respect for myself and did things I never thought I would do.” She ultimately checked in for the second season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to kick her drug addictions once and for all. Although she continues to take suboxone as prescribed by a doctor, Smith has been clean from all her former drugs of choice for more than three years. “Since the show, I have been in a recovery bubble,” she's said. “All of my friends are sober and I have a sponsor.”

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  • Kate Moss

    In the mid-90s, this malnourished mannequin became the official face of 'heroin chic', provoking a national debate about the fashion industry's weight issues that even Bill Clinton chimed in on. Moss went on to work with almost every major fashion label—including Gucci, Chanel and Bulgari. But her momentum came to a temporary halt in 2005 when a British tabloid ran photos of her snorting cocaine. For a minute, it looked like the scandal would stick. Several of Moss's major contracts were dropped, and the model quickly issued a public apology and checked in to rehab. Though she's never claimed to be sober, Moss has thus far avoided any public embarrassments, and her career is bigger than ever. In addition to modeling, she recently released a clothing line and a fragrance and body lotion that have made her the second highest paid model in the world. She married Jamie Hince, the guitarist for rock band The Kills, last July.

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  • Janice Dickinson

    The self-described 'world’s first supermodel' worked with some of the biggest names in fashion during the late 70s and early 80s—including Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein. In the 2000s, she launched a comeback after penning a tell-all that chronicled her partying past, eventually landing a role as a judge on America’s Next Top Model and making appearances on numerous other reality shows. Her behavior began to grow increasingly erratic, even by Dickinson's standards, and she checked into the fourth season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. “I’m an alcoholic and a chemically dependent woman,” she said. “I want to drink and I want to party and that’s not good.” She has continued to display a lot of truly bizarre behavior in recent months, but it’s  impossible to tell what’s drug related and what is simply Janice being Janice. She now is starring in a new reality show in which she presides over a house of sober supermodels.

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  • Lara Stone

    With her gap teeth and large lips, the Dutch bombshell has modeled for Calvin Klein, Diesel and Marc Jacobs, among others, and surprised many of her fans in 2009 when she opened up  about being a violent drunk and completing treatment in a South African rehab. “I am a complete alcoholic,” she told British Vogue. “It used to be so easy to say to someone, ‘Get me a bottle of vodka,’ and they’d run and get it.” Stone has reportedly remained sober since May 2009 and is married to Little Britain star David Walliams. Last May, she landed again on the cover of British Vogue,  when the magazine released its first ever multi-cover publication in celebration of the royal wedding. “Going to rehab was the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life,” she said shortly after. “I’m so happy I did that.”

    McCarton Ackerman is a contributing writer at thefix.com, where he has written about Carré Otis and Celebrity Rehab among other topics. His work has also appeared in Time Out New YorkThe Huffington Post and abcnews.com.

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By McCarton Ackerman 01/20/12

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