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Dr. Drew Pinsky says he has no plans to go forward with another season of Celebrity Rehab because he’s “tired of taking all the heat” following the deaths of five former cast members.
“It’s very stressful and very intense for me,” Pinsky said in a recent radio interview with Zach Sang and the Gang (via Today.com). “To have people questioning my motives and taking aim at me because people get sick and die because they have a life-threatening disease, and I take the blame? Rodney King has a heart attack and I take blame for that?”
He added: “I don’t have plans to do that again. I’m tired of taking all the heat. It’s just ridiculous.”
In February, country singer Mindy McCready — who had appeared on the VH1 reality show in 2009 — committed suicide after a long battle with substance abuse and other personal demons. King died of accidental drowning, with cocaine and alcohol found in his system, in June 2012; the Celebrity Rehab body count also includes Taxi star Jeff Conaway, Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr and Real World cast member Joey Kovar.
STORY: Mindy McCready’s Death and the ‘Celebrity Rehab’ Curse
With the tragic loss of McCready, critics condemned Pinsky as the villain who exploited troubled stars for personal gain. Substance-abuse expert Bob Forrest, his right-hand man on the series, defended Pinsky at the time, telling THR: “These are hardcore, decades-long f—-ups and alcoholics who have decimated their careers and their lives. You’ve got to be awfully desperate and often close to hopeless to come on our show. But everybody’s looking for somebody to blame, so it’s going to be Dr. Drew.”
Season six of Pinsky’s Rehab dropped “celebrity” from its title and eliminated the fame factor from process-group sessions entirely. It had an eight-week run in early 2012.
“It’s sad that we’re not doing more shows because people did get help,” Pinsky said. “A lot of people are sober because of Celebrity Rehab who wouldn’t have been sober without it.”
Recently, Pinsky reunited with Loveline radio partner Adam Carolla for the new podcast, The Adam & Dr. Drew Show.
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