When Intervention Isn't Enough

Drunken rages took a toll on a relationship and were typically heartbreaking.



Other than the protagonist being gay, the Intervention episode with alcoholic Christopher Brady that aired last summer didn't stray too far from the usual blueprint of the show, which chronicles people suffering with extreme substance abuse. The drunken rages of Brady and the toll they took on his partner, Shawn Hanshew-Brady, were typically heartbreaking, but the episode ended on a positive note with Chris entering rehab and embracing sobriety. The show's final notes indicated Chris had been sober since October 2008 and the couple was planning a commitment ceremony. But Chris relapsed, and on August 28, 2009, he ended his own life. In advance of A&E reairing Chris's episode Monday at 9 p.m. Eastern, Hanshew-Brady spoke to The Advocate about his experience on Intervention as well as being denied hospital visitation rights as Chris lay dying. 

The Advocate: Do you regret taking part in Intervention?
Shawn Hanshew-Brady: I don't. A lot of people ask me that, especially now. But when we originally shot the episode, Chris was very, very sick. His alcoholism had progressed, he had developed a lot of health problems, and really the show prolonged his life. I have no doubt that something tragic would have happened at that time, even before we had agreed to do the documentary. It did give him the opportunity to have some peace when we sent him to rehab. He did extremely well [there], so I don't regret it at all.

Did you have some good time together before his last relapse?
We did, we did. But it was off and on; his addiction was very, very powerful, unfortunately. Actually, at the end of his rehab [in Malibu, Calif.], when we were taping for Intervention, they did fly me out there and we did a surprise reunion. We got to spend three days together and we went to Santa Monica, we went to L.A., we did a lot of really nice things that are beautiful memories, so I'm really thankful for that. But even after he got home to Delaware, it was touch and go. We would have a great day, and then he would relapse and it was a vicious cycle that would always repeat.

How long were you together?
Fifteen years.

Tags: television