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In September, Shepard shared on his podcast Armchair Expert that after 16 years of sobriety, he relapsed with narcotic drugs, specifically Vicodin, for roughly eight weeks.
The relapse came after Shephard suffered a motorcycle accident in August, after which he struggled to come clean to his wife Kristen Bell and friends, such as podcast co-host Monica Padman.
Bell spoke with DeGeneres in October on her decision to stand by her husband through his struggles, claiming “he’s very, very worth it.”
As one of the more prominent sober figures in Hollywood, Shepherd honestly told Ellen about his “bizarre fears” around going public with his relapse.
“I did not want to at all,” Shepard said. “I have sponsors on my show — is that something that could cost me money financially?”
But the actor claimed that the number one thing he was afraid to lose was the community he has cultivated while on his sober journey.
“I get so much esteem out of being someone who’s vocally sober,” he said. “And I have people who write me — ‘I’m month one’ or ‘I’m week two’ — and I love that. That’s my favorite thing about being in public, and so I was just terrified I would lose that. I really cherish that.”
But it was words from a close friend that convinced Shepard to be honest about his struggles.
The friend told Dax: “If your real goal is to help people, it’s not very helpful that you’re 16 years sober and married to Kristen Bell. In fact, that probably makes their life worse. So the fact that you just fell, that’s the actual value.”
With that in mind, Shepard said it “got a lot easier.”
Since his relapse, Shepard shared that he recently got into fitness, as he’s dedicated his time to strength training during quarantine.
In fact, Shepard’s gains in the gym were so significant that Bell awarded her husband with a medal for “Most Impressive Body in Los Feliz,” which he wore throughout the interview.
The actor also went on to tell Ellen that his kids — whom he shares with Bell — are both “fantastic” and “terrible.”
“They’re ferrets, they steal everything I have, and have been doing so now for seven and a half years,” he joked. “I can’t have a pair of tweezers, I can’t have nail clippers, they will get stolen within 30 minutes … so I recently invested in a safe.”
Watch the clip below.
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