Dennis Rodman Leaves Alcohol Rehab, Immediately Relapses, Denies Drinking Problem

By McCarton Ackerman 02/18/14

The former NBA great followed up his disastrous trip to North Korea by refusing to acknowledge that he has a problem with booze.


Despite having an alcohol-fueled meltdown last month in North Korea, entering an inpatient alcohol-rehab center afterwards, and relapsing just days after exiting the facility, Dennis Rodman still denies being an alcoholic and said he has no plans to give up drinking.

After recently completing a three-week stay at a New Jersey facility, Rodman said he will return every six months “to see where I’m at.” However, he continues to deny having a drinking problem and said he simply went to rehab to decompress from the pressure of putting on his “basketball diplomacy” exhibition game between former NBA stars and the top basketball players in North Korea.

“I don’t need to drink. I don’t need to do anything. I went to rehab to sort things out. That’s it,” he said. “I’m not an alcoholic. An alcoholic drinks seven days a week. I don’t drink seven days a week. When I drink, I don’t hurt nobody. I don’t have no DUI’s, nothing like that.”

After sparking outrage by singing “Happy Birthday” to North Korea dictator Kim-Jong Un,  Rodman insinuated during a CNN interview that Kenneth Bae, an American who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a North Korean camp for acts of “treason,” had done something to deserve his sentence. He later apologized and blamed booze for his boorish behavior. “The pressure that was put on him to be a combination ‘super human’ political figure and ‘fixer’ got the better of him,” said his agent, Dennis Prince. "He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused.”

But while he was in rehab, Korean media outlets reported that a drunk Rodman “vomited and defecated” in the hallway of his hotel. Sources also claim he was “plied with alcohol” upon entering the country, receiving numerous personalized bottles of alcohol that had pictures of Rodman and Kim drawn on them. After completing treatment, he reportedly fell off the wagon last week by getting so drunk off Kamikaze shots at a Miami nightclub that he needed to be helped into a car.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.