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Democratic Star Andrew Gillum Heads to Rehab After Hotel Incident


The 40-year-old politician says he became depressed after running for Florida governor and turned to drinking.

Former Florida gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum has checked himself into rehab for alcohol abuse. The move came days after Gillum, a rising star in the Democratic party, was found vomiting in a Miami hotel room where another man was being treated for a suspected meth overdose.

"This has been a wake-up call for me," Gillum said in the statement, released Sunday night. "Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse. I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism and I know the damaging effects it can have when untreated. I also know that alcoholism is often a symptom of deeper struggles. I am committed to doing the personal work to heal fully and show up in the world as a more complete person."

Gillum made no mention of Travis Dyson, one of two men in the hotel room with Gillum and who was found in cardiac arrest. Dyson once described himself as a "pornstar performer" on the male escort site Rent Men, according to Miami news station WPLG Local 10.

Aldo Mejias, the third man in the room, called for help after attempting press compressions on Dyson. Small bags of suspected meth were found in the hotel room. Gillum was too intoxicated to speak with police at the time of the incident. He said in a statement afterward he was intoxicated, but did not do drugs.

"While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines," he said in a statement at the time.

"I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement. I'm thankful to the incredible Miami Beach EMS team for their efforts. I will spend the next few weeks with my family and appreciate privacy during this time."

Miami police are not pursuing criminal charges against Gillum.

Gillum narrowly lost the race for governor of Florida in 2018, where he regularly campaigned with his wife, R. Jai. Gillum. Before running for governor, Gillum served as mayor of Tallahassee.

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