Rob Lowe: My Sex Tape Helped Me Get Sober

By Kelly Burch 10/28/19

Lowe discussed his sex tape scandal and journey to sobriety on The Jess Cagle Show.

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Rob Lowe

Actor Rob Lowe said that a 1988 sex tape that he made with an underage girl was one of the best things that’s happened to him in life—because it prompted him to get sober. 

"What Am I Doing With My life?”

Lowe made the tape with a 16-year-old, who he says he did not know was underage. When Lowe was sued by the girl’s mother, his career was disrupted. However, the tape and the ensuing scandal made Lowe, then 24, take a look at his behavior, he said on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show.

"It's one of the reasons why I got sober. I woke up one day and was like, 'What am I doing with my life?’” Lowe said, according to USA Today. "People talk about it, I go, 'I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.’ Honestly, I do, because it got me sober. Sober got me married. I’ve been married 29 years, and I have two great sons. I don’t think any of that happens without going through that scandal. I really don't."

Celebrating 29 Years Of Sobriety

Earlier this year, Lowe celebrated his sobriety on Instagram. 

In March, he wrote, “Today I celebrate 29 years of sobriety. Thank you to all those who have inspired me on this wonderful, challenging and life-changing journey. If you, or someone you know, are struggling with alcohol or addiction, there CAN be a future of hope, health and happiness. And it comes one day at a time. #recovery #ItWorks.”

In the Jess Cagle interview, Lowe joked that he didn’t take advantage of the tape like he could today. 

"The problem was, I didn't make any money off of it like everybody does now. I was too stupid,” he said. 

It’s not the first time he has joked about the tape. In March he told Marc Maron, “The real (expletive) up was that I didn’t wait 20 years later to do it where it would have helped my career. 1 billion percent ahead of the curve.”

Demi Moore Was His Sober Role Model

While the scandal from the sex tape might have prompted Lowe to seek recovery, having a sober role model was also important in helping him see that recovery was possible. Earlier this month, Lowe said that Demi Moore inspired him to see that life in recovery was possible. 

Speaking on The View, Lowe said that his St. Elmo’s Fire costar “was the first person I ever knew who got sober. She was a huge inspiration to me. It was the ‘80s, we were all doing our thing. I just remember thinking, ‘If that girl can get sober, anybody can.’”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.