Tom Arnold has now revealed that he issued Chris Farley a warning while the popular comedian was being recognized on SNL before his death. “I told him early on, ‘You can’t be super fat and do drugs, that’s death,’” the 63-year-old told Page Six. “‘You’ve got to make a choice. It’s best you don’t do either but you cannot do both.’”
Arnold, who was Farley’s sober companion, stated that when Farley went out to LA and stayed at his home he had staged an intervention that included Farley’s brother and actor Rob Lowe. “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,” he stated. “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.”
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Farley was later convinced to go to rehab by his therapist. “The therapist said, ‘Actually if you come with now, the first thing we do at rehab is give you drugs because we don’t want you to have seizures.’,” Arnold noted.
Chris Farley on SNL
That’s when Farley reportedly asked if he would be “fu**ed up” and once he heard that he would indeed be intoxicated, he decided to enter rehab. Arnold stated that Farley ended up admitting himself a total of 16 times.
Farley died in 1997 at 33 due to an overdose of morphine and cocaine, according to an autopsy that was performed by a Cook County coroner. Also listed as a significant contributing factor to his death, was advanced atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of fats, cholesterol, as well as other substances in and on the artery wall.
“But he did his best, it’s terribly sad,” Arnold noted. “He had a lot of conflict with his Catholic religion. He really showed up in church all the time — and then became what he considered being a bad Catholic.”
Ever since becoming sober, Arnold has been an advocate for others when it comes to addiction. The actor had been sober for 19 years until he tragically broke his back after getting in a motorcycle accident in 1989. He believed that cocaine and alcohol were his main concerns so when ambulance workers offered him fentanyl for the pain he accepted. But, trying to regain sobriety was very humbling for Arnold, saying that it was a harrowing experience that included severe depression and a colostomy bag.
“Specifically one night, where I’m like, ‘I have screwed up everything, I am a phony, I am a fraud.’ It was a very dark time,’” he noted.