LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom never went to rehab for “problems with alcohol,” despite the stint being widely reported for more than a decade, according to a new report.
In 2007, Newsom, then mayor of San Francisco, said he would seek professional help after publicly disclosing an affair, reports The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board.
“My problems with alcohol are not an excuse for my personal lapses in judgment,” he was reported stating at the time. “Upon reflection with friends and family this weekend, I have come to the conclusion that I will be a better person without alcohol in my life.”
Several news outlets went on to report Newsom had entered a rehab program.
In an interview with the Bee, Newsom says that he sought counseling from Mimi Silbert, president of the Delancey Street Foundation, a rehabilitation center Silbert confirmed requires participants to abstain from drugs and alcohol.
Newsom, however, clarified he did not check in for treatment as outlets reported and says he resumed drinking after a period of time under Silbert’s watch.
“No, there’s no rehab. I just stopped,” he said, according to the Bee. “There was no treatment, no nothing related to any of that stuff. I stopped because I thought it was a good thing to stop.”
“Sometimes people make mistakes in their lives and you then work hard never to make them again, because you learn from them,” Newsom continued. “I like to think I’m a better person, and I like to think that a lot of people have made mistakes, we just don’t read about them.”
The politician, 50, is now a leading candidate in California’s race for governor.