Former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has told of the shame he felt after being found ‘inebriated’ in a South Beach hotel room in March, along with a male escort who – DailyMail.com revealed – overdosed on crystal meth.
Gillum opened up in his first television interview since he was was pictured unconscious and naked together with photos that depicted a slew of drugs, both prescription and illegal, found inside a swanky $220-per-night hotel room.
The 41-year-old father of three entered a rehab facility to deal with alcohol abuse shortly after the incident and revealed to Tamron Hall that he has ‘cried every day’ since his sudden fall from grace.
Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has spoken in a TV interview to address an incident in which he was found unconscious in a hotel
Gillum told Tamron Hall, pictured, that he was shown to be ‘at his most vulnerable state’ at the time of the incident
Paramedics were called to the four-star Mondrian South Beach hotel which costs $220 a night
Hall asked Gillum why he was in the hotel room in the first place.
‘I would say the reason why I went to that room was probably no different than how anybody might communicate with someone that they are in a friendship relationship whatever with. I understand very well what people assume about that.’
In a tearful interview to be shown in full on Monday morning, Gillum spoke candidly about the incident which saw a photo revealed of him in a compromising position.
‘When that photo came out, I didn’t recognize the person on the floor,’ he said.
‘That was not anything more than a person being at their most vulnerable state, unconscious, having given no consent, and someone decided to use a moment where I was literally lying in my own vomit.’
Gillum told Hall that part of his recovery process has been to get over the shame that he felt
Fire rescue crews and police officers responded to the Mondrian South Beach hotel in Miami Beach for a suspected drug overdose.
When officers arrived, Gillum was so intoxicated he could not communicate, police said.
Cops found a substance in the room that appeared to by crystal methamphetamine, but Gillum was not charged with a crime.
A third man who was present, Aldo Mejias, 56, told officers that Gillum and Travis Dyson had been ‘under the influence of an unknown substance’, according to a police report obtained by DailyMail.com.
Dyson – DailyMail.com revealed – worked as a gay porn actor and advertised himself as a male escort.
Dyson describes himself as a trauma certified ER nurse on social media, where he posts photos of himself working out in the gym, partying at gay nightspots and lounging on luxury yachts
Police arrived to find paramedics performing first aid on Dyson in the wake of ‘a suspected drug overdose’ and preparing to take him to the hospital
The report also noted that Gillum, a former Tallahassee mayor and regular CNN contributor, was seen vomiting in the bathroom and required a welfare check to see if he was okay.
Since the incident, Gillum apologized to supporters in an 11-minute Instagram video in July where he explained that he had been fighting depression for years which only worsened after narrowly losing his 2018 race to Governor Ron DeSantis.
He told Hall that he remains hopeful of redeeming himself.
‘I’m still here by the grace of God. So much of my recovery has been about trying to get over shame. Shame is not that I did that, but I am bad.’
Plastic baggies of suspected crystal meth (pictured), empty beer bottles and prescription pills are seen scattered among trash and soiled bedding in shocking images
Exclusive images show the slew of drugs, both prescription and illegal, found inside the swank $220-per-night hotel room, including three bags of what police believe was crystal meth
Dozens of white pills can be seen scattered on the floor and bedside table alongside empty containers of citalopram, an anti-anxiety medication, and gabapentin, which helps combat seizures and nerve pain, as well as an empty Corona beer bottle
Photos of the incident in question showed dozens of white pills scattered on the floor and bedside table alongside empty containers of citalopram, an anti-anxiety medication, and gabapentin, which helps combat seizures and nerve pain.
A small bottle of an injectable medicine containing alprostadil, typically used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Beer bottles and sheets covered in bodily fluids could also been in the photos, obtained from police under Freedom of Information law.
Gillum left the hotel after rescue workers confirmed that he had stable medical signs.
Earlier this year, Gillum told how his wife, R. Jai Howard, had stood by him in the months following.
Gillum had remained silent since a March incident involving a man who reportedly overdosed in a South Beach hotel room. He finally spoke out on his Instagram page in July, pictured
Gillum, who is married with three young children, denied using any drugs but admitted to having ‘too much to drink’ (pictured with his wife R. Jai Howard)
‘She knows what I am and knows what I am not. She chooses to love me anyhow,’ he said in a video message to supporters.
‘I totally underestimated the impact that losing the race for governor had on my life, and on the way that those impacts started to show up in every aspect of my life,’ Gillum said.
‘It was a constant reminder of failure and my own personal failures. … It was a reminder that I had let so many people down.
‘All of that was all of a sudden gone, and caused me to think about my own purpose, and my own value and what I could contribute if anything,’ he said. ‘I didn’t want to face any of those things so I numbed. I tried to suppress. I tried to ignore.’
Gillum went traveling, made public appearances and sat for TV interviews, posting on Instagram and Facebook ‘as if I was living my best life.’
He expressed remorse for what he did and acknowledged that his feelings of guilt were normal.
‘It is normal to feel guilty for the harm you have caused someone. That’s how you know you’re human. That’s how you know you’re not a sociopath.’
But he said the public shame that he also felt hit him in a ‘completely different’ way that ‘cuts you.’
‘My stuff had to be public and cause great embarrassment and rumors, some false, some true, the shame that I felt from all of that … was tearing me up,’ Gillum said. ‘I needed real help to try to unpack that.’
Gillum revealed that his father also suffered from alcoholism and died from complications related to ‘that deadly addiction.’
Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic candidate for Florida governor, was named in a police report saying he was ‘inebriated’ and initially unresponsive in a hotel room in March this year
‘I went away to rehab to focus on my issues with alcoholism, having grown up in a household where my father battled addiction to alcohol, and later died from that addiction,’ Gillum said in the July video. ‘I knew well the toll it took on my father’s dreams and ambitions.’
In the video, he urged others struggling with alcoholism or depression to seek help. He explained that he turned to therapy address his problems.
‘All of us are struggling and trying and clawing at trying to be something else when we really ought to be trying to be at home in ourselves. That is the journey I am on right now … not having to be one thing in one place and one thing somewhere else,’ he said.
‘With a lot of encouragement from family and the people who love and care about me, I also got into therapy, where I could start to talk through what was going on with me,’ Gillum said.
‘I knew if I had not dealt first with issues and addiction and the numbing that I chose with alcohol, there was no way I could start to pull back the layers and talk about what was truly happening underneath.’
‘This is a tough moment not to be out in the world and contributing … although I can’t be what I would love to be for you and for myself and for my community at this time,’ Gillum said. ‘I hope you know that I couldn’t be those things because I couldn’t be what I needed to be for me first.’