Antonio Sabato Jr.’s Wife Alleges Drug Addiction In Divorce Papers

By Britni de la Cretaz 05/19/17

Sabato denies the allegations and says he has been open about his past addictions with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Antonio Sabato Jr

Soap actor Antonio Sabato Jr. and his wife of five years, Cheryl Marie, are divorcing and things are getting messy.

Marie has alleged in divorce documents obtained by TMZ that Sabato Jr. is addicted to prescription benzodiazepines, and as a result, she is concerned about their six-year-old son’s safety. She is seeking full physical custody of the boy, according to TMZ.

Sabato Jr., 45, told TMZ that he has been to rehab in the past for sleeping pill addiction, and says he’s made no attempt to hide his past issues with drugs. He reportedly told Marie, 45, that he had used crystal meth before they met, and the birth of his now-14-year-old daughter from a previous relationship had inspired him to get sober. For his part, Sabato Jr. has told The Huffington Post that the allegations are “unfounded,” and told TMZ, "Whatever else she says is just a bunch of lies."

Sabato Jr., who is best known for his roles on Melrose Place and General Hospital, and Marie, a former beauty pageant winner and television presenter, appeared together on Celebrity Wife Swap in 2012. The appearance was not a pleasant one for them, with Marie having a breakdown on camera and the couple alleging that the experience had, at least temporarily, shattered their relationship. Sabato Jr. also starred in his own reality TV dating show, My Antonio, prior to meeting Marie.

In an interview published earlier this week, Newsmax Health says that Sabato Jr. claims to have been suffering from depression, mood swings, and lethargy until he discovered hormone therapy, which he says has changed his life.

“I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so low,” he told Newsmax Health. “I’ve always worked out to keep myself in top shape for my demanding roles in movies and on television and I just wasn’t bouncing back the way I used to. I suffered from terrible mood swings and insomnia. The doctors I went to wanted to give me pills, which I took at the beginning but then I felt trapped… I didn’t want to take sleeping pills and antidepressants. I just want[ed] to feel like myself again.” Sabato, Jr. credits a hormone-replacement therapy, through an anti-aging physician, with his turnaround.

The soap star also recently announced that he plans to run for Congress. His platform will reportedly make the opioid epidemic and substance abuse a central issue, the Huffington Post reports. Sabato, Jr. is running as a Republican in California’s 26th Congressional District, hoping to unseat the Democratic incumbent. The political hopeful has been a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump.

Marie filed for divorce on December 27, 2016 and Sabato, Jr. is seeking joint custody of the couple’s son.

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Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer, baseball enthusiast, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @britnidlc.