How Addiction Held Together Hollywood's Happiest Marriage

By Jason Gotlieb 09/23/11

Antonio Banderas cites an unusual factor to explain his enduring 15-year partnership with Melanie Griffith--- her successful battle to end her dependence on pills.

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Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith have been married for 15 years—a Hollywood eternity—and the apparent secret of their relationship's longevity is a surprising one. Banderas, 51, credited Griffith's struggle with an addiction to pain pills for welding the pair together in a new interview with AARP magazine. "We've been open about addictions, in the case of Melanie. She has overcome her problems beautifully," said the Mask of Zorro star. "I didn't know she was so strong. It makes me love her even more, because she has been an unbelievable lion fighting, and she got it. The last [relapse] was three years ago, and it just welded us." His wife, 54, doesn't quite agree with her beloved, however. "I'm sorry to say, that's in his mind," she responded with a smile "I started on pain pills when I hurt my knee skiing and just kept taking them. The kids knew; Dakota and Stella called me on it. Antonio was in London at the time." The Lolita actress continued, "I went away to rehab for three months; it took 10 days just to detox. We had two family weeks there, but we didn't follow through. Antonio was supportive to the extent that he can be, but if you're not an alcoholic or drug addict, and you find out that your wife is a bad one, it's hard to deal with." You're telling us. But Griffith added that she doesn't hold her husband's misconceptions against him, adding that surviving addiction is always a tough hurdle for families to face, as well as for addicts themselves. But she gives credit where credit is due: "He has been totally by my side through all of this. He really is the greatest guy. I couldn't haave made it through without him."

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Jason Gotlieb is a programmer, software developer, and writer living in New York. You can find him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.