After Drew Barrymore revealed that her therapist quit on her after she struggled with excessive drinking in the wake of her 2016 divorce from Will Kopelman, the mental health provider has addressed the matter in a statement to EW.
“Occasionally a therapist has to suspend treatment until a patient is willing to stop certain chronic self-destructive behaviors that are impeding the therapy,” Barry Michels said in an email statement.
Barrymore previously told the Los Angeles Times that Michels — known for treating Gwyneth Paltrow and for co-authoring the book The Tools with Phil Stutz — halted their sessions after her depression worsened and her drinking intensified following her divorce.
“He just said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,'” Barrymore said. “It was really about my drinking. I said, ‘I get it. I’ve never respected you more. You see I’m not getting better. And I hope, one day, that I can earn your trust back.'”
Michels elaborated in his statement, noting that he was able to reconvene with Barrymore after she stopped drinking.
“Fortunately, in this case, I was dealing with Drew Barrymore — one of the strongest and most stalwart people I’ve ever met,” he said. “She did the right thing for herself, and we were able to resume our treatment together.”
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Drew Barrymore
Cameron Diaz, Barrymore’s Charlie’s Angels costar, told the Times that her friend’s tumultuous time was “difficult to watch,” especially because Barrymore had had periods of sobriety over her life. She had even entered rehab as a teenager following her rise to stardom as a child.
“But, I knew that if we all stuck with her and gave her the support she needed, she would find her way,” Diaz said. “I have absolute faith in her. You can’t even comprehend how hard it was to be her as a child, and then she shot out the other end with the ability to save herself.”
Barrymore told PEOPLE that her divorce from Kopelman — with whom she has two daughters, Olive and Frankie — was “cripplingly difficult” and that the couple “tried to make it work” for their family, but couldn’t.
The 48-year-old actress and talk-show host said her series, The Drew Barrymore Show, afforded her a new outlook, and that she stopped drinking after filming the show’s pilot episode in 2019.