Actor Tom Arnold said that he warned the late actor and comedian Chris Farley about his drug use — especially coupled with his weight — staging an intervention and telling him at one point, “You can’t be super fat and do drugs.”
Arnold, who was himself well-acquainted with the ups and downs of addiction, was Farley’s sober sponsor at one point — and he made the comments during an interview that was published Sunday on entertainment site Page Six.
“I told him early on, ‘You can’t be super fat and do drugs, that’s death. You’ve got to make a choice. It’s best you don’t do either but you cannot do both,’” Arnold recalled.
He described one time that Farley had come to visit him in Los Angeles, staying at his home — and when it was getting to be time for him to leave, he and a few others staged an intervention and begged the “Black Sheep” star to get help.
“He sits down and we tell him how much we love him and we want him to go to this rehab, it’s all set up,” Arnold said, flanked by fellow actor Rob Lowe and one of Farley’s brothers. “And he’s like, ‘I’m gonna do this but I need to run back to New York just to grab some stuff,’ and that means, go back to New York to get some more heroin.”
It was not until a therapist informed Farley that he would get drugs in rehab – to avoid seizures while his body was in detox — that he finally agreed to go. In total, Arnold said, Farley entered rehab more than a dozen times.
When Farley died in 1997 at just 33 years old, his death was attributed to an overdose of cocaine and morphine — but a buildup of fats and cholesterol known as advanced atherosclerosis was also listed on the autopsy report as a factor in his early passing.
“He did his best, it’s terribly sad. He had a lot of conflict with his Catholic religion. He really showed up in church all the time — and then being what he considered being a bad Catholic,” Arnold added.