Cara Delevingne revealed that she checked herself into rehab late last year after a period of heavy substance abuse and deep inner turmoil. The reckless lifestyle led to her concerning paparazzi photos in September 2022.
In an interview with Vogue for its April issue, Delevingne opened up about her struggles with addiction, her road to recovery and her newfound commitment to sobriety.
Last fall, paparazzi snapped photos of the actress and model outside of the Los Angeles Van Nuys Airport, looking disheveled and erratically pacing around barefoot. Delevingne told Vogue that the photos were taken after she had attended the music festival Burning Man and was on her way to another work engagement.
“I hadn’t slept. I was not OK. It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, OK, I don’t look well.”
Fans were worried about her well-being after seeing the photos. Earlier that year, Delevingne had made headlines for her strange interactions with Megan Thee Stallion at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, where she seemed to be in all of the rapper’s photos. The 30-year-old said public concern for her and a sense of overwhelming shame led her to seek help.
“You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.”
The pandemic made her feel like her life had “no purpose.” Her depression caused her to start partying excessively, which eventually caught up with her at the end of 2022. She said that media attention made “the whole cycle worse.”
“Instead of taking the time to really learn something new or do something new, I got very wrapped up in misery, wallowing and partying. It was a really sad time.”
Her 30th birthday in August also brought on difficult emotions because it forced her to recognize a need for change. Her lifestyle was no longer sustainable, and things were coming to a head.
“I was welcoming in this new time but I was also grieving. It was like a funeral for my previous life, a goodbye to an era. And so I decided I was going to party as hard as I could because this was the end.”
Delevingne struggled with addiction while growing up, first misusing alcohol at the age of seven. The model entered treatment late last year, and she credits that decision as a major turning point in her life.
“I’ve had interventions of a sort, but I wasn’t ready. That’s the problem. If you’re not face-first on the floor and ready to get up again, you won’t. At that point, I hadn’t seen a therapist in three years. I just kind of pushed everyone away, which made me realize how much I was in a bad place.”
Hitting rock bottom is when she realized that she needed therapeutic support. She also started reaching out to old friends she had known since she was 13. Many of them came over and started crying with her. They told her that she “deserved joy.”
“I’ve had interventions of a sort, but I wasn’t ready. That’s the problem. If you’re not face-first on the floor and ready to get up again, you won’t. At that point. I really was. I hadn’t seen a therapist in three years. I just kind of pushed everyone away, which made me realize how much I was in a bad place. I always thought that the work needs to be done when the times are bad, but actually, the work needs to be done when they’re good. The work needs to be done consistently. It’s never going to be fixed or fully healed, but I’m okay with that, and that’s the difference.”
Delevingne has been sober for over four months now and is dedicated to a 12-step program.
“This time, I realized that 12-step treatment was the best thing, and it was about not being ashamed of that. The community made a huge difference. The opposite of addiction is connection, and I really found that in 12-step.”
Delevingne said she realizes, “This process obviously has its ups and downs.” The road to long-term recovery is not always smooth.
“People want my story to be this after-school special where I just say, ‘Oh look, I was an addict, and now I’m sober, and that’s it.’ And it’s not as simple as that. It doesn’t happen overnight. Of course, I want things to be instant. I think this generation especially, we want things to happen quickly — but I’ve had to dig deeper.”
On Wednesday, the actress shared a photo of the Vogue April issue cover with her Instagram followers. In an accompanying caption, she wrote, “Every single story is important, and this is mine. We are all human. Of course we will fall and make mistakes. We will walk through really hard things in life but it’s how we get back up again.”
“We can learn and heal. Hard times are not final. Difficult circumstances don’t have to hold us down or define us. There is hope. Always hope. Right here, I am grateful and proud and ready for all that is to come. Remember it is never too late to change the direction of your story.To anyone out there still struggling, don’t give up, you are not alone.”
Delevingne spent Christmas and New Year sober with her girlfriend, Leah Mason. Now they are planning an RV trip together. She prioritizes her health now by working out, eating three meals daily, and practicing yoga and meditation.
“I still have a lot of energy, but it’s not erratic. I’m calmer. I’m stiller.”
Moumita Basuroychowdhury is a Contributing Reporter at The National Digest. After earning an economics degree at Cornell University, she moved to the Big Apple to pursue her MFA in creative writing. She enjoys reporting on science, business and culture news. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.