A CNBC anchor, former Wall Street economist and Ronald Reagan adviser has told how he’s still struggling with his decades-long drug and alcohol addiction, even though he has been sober for 18 years.
Larry Kudlow, 66, made his emotional speech to a 500-strong audience at the annual black tie Silver Hill Hospital Gala at the exclusive Cipriani restaurant on 42nd street in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday.
Kudlow, who checked in for long-term treatment at Hazelden rehab clinic in 1995, made a public confession of his drug problem after he was forced to resign as chief economist at Bear Stearns the year before.
‘I never believed I could be clean and sober, it’s been 18 years-plus. I was at Hazelden for five months; they helped me a lot.’
‘I needed long-term care, and I didn’t have any money. I’d spent it on my addiction,’ he told the audience.
‘This was the end of the line. I was unemployable. My wonderful wife had stopped enabling me, and filed for divorce. We’ve been married 26 years, but at that moment it was very difficult.’
Kudlow, who has been married three times, tied the knot in 1986 with his current wife, Judith ‘Judy’ Pond, a painter and a former Montana native.
In the mid-1990s, Kudlow entered a twelve-step program in order to deal with his addiction to cocaine and alcohol.
To Wednesday night’s glamorous audience, Kudlow said: ‘I told my counselor, “I need help. I surrender, I am on my knees. I am powerless”. She said, “We are going to invest in you”. And I broke down and cried. I stayed, and things got better. It was a turning point for me. It has given me a new career, which I never even saw coming.
‘Only, I was sober enough to walk through the door when it was open. I show up every night and do my job to be a broadcaster on TV and radio, but most of all I am a recovering alcoholic, and I never forget that.’
Marie Louise Olsen