Pete Doherty has admitted that years of drug and alcohol abuse have impacted his health – revealing to Louis Theroux that he is “a very sick man”.
In the episode, which is available now on iPlayer, the ‘00s indie icon spoke candidly about his life and career – particularly his previous struggles with addiction that led to him being arrested multiple times for possession.
During one part of the interview, Doherty got up to take a swig from a bottle of blackcurrant rum, before starting to cough and clutch his chest.
“You are looking at a very sick man,” Doherty told Theroux when asked about how his health is. “I’ve battered it, haven’t I, I’ve fucking caned it.”
“[The] heroin and the crack… I surrendered to that. Then it was cocaine and the smoking and the alcohol, and now it’s cheese and the saucisson, and the sugar in the tea… it’s all gotta go.”
He continued, adding that he was advised by his doctors to implement changes to his lifestyle: “They told me a little while ago if you don’t change your diet then you’re gonna have diabetes and cholesterol problems… Death’s lurking, you know what I mean? That’s why I carry that stick.”
In the chat with Theroux, Doherty said he especially wanted to change his lifestyle for the sake of seeing his daughter, Billie-May, “grow up and start a family of her own”, although he added that he thought sticking around 25 more years is “a stretch though”.
When asked by the host what advice he’d share with someone thinking of experimenting with drugs, Doherty added: “My life in using was so chaotic… you’ll be in prison and you’ll fuck your body up, and you’ll be skint, and you’ll lose your family and you’ll lose everything you love. Is it really that good? That’s beyond curiosity, that’s a right mess.”
“I still get tingles thinking about it,” he continued. “But I’m able to talk to you rather than running off and scoring.”
He also revealed in the discussion that he currently takes blockers that would prevent heroin from taking effect, and is “still in shock from having got clean”.
“Maybe in 10 years I’ll be able to talk with pride about being clean,” he remarked.
This is far from the first time that Doherty has spoken openly about his previous struggles with addiction. Speaking with NME last month about the band’s upcoming album ‘All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade’, the singer recalled what it was like writing new music following his previous issues.
“It’s just an everyday scrap, really. It’s proper toe-to-toe with the demons, but because I believe so much in Carl, Gary, John and this record, it’s a pleasure,” he said. “I just want to do my bit, be as professional as I can, let people hear the songs, and then go and play them.
Elsewhere in the interview with Louis Theroux, Doherty also opened up about the death of Mark Blanco back in 2006, and said he “understands” the anger his mother feels towards him.