On February 2, 2014, the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman shocked Hollywood. Although it was a surprise to many, his inner circle was aware of the actor's imminent fatal outcome, who was found dead from a lethal cocktail of drugs that caused an overdose at the age of 46. This is what his wife, Mimi O'Donnell, told it through a dramatic story.
In an extensive article published in December 2017 in Vogue magazine, Mimi O'Donnell spoke rawly of the loss of her husband, Philip Seymour Hoffman. With an open heart, she also recalled how the Oscar-winning actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote relapsed into his drug use, an addiction that ultimately led to his death.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's Warning
According to her, he was honest with her from the beginning about his addictions: “He told me about his period of excessive alcohol consumption and experimentation with heroin when he was in his early 20s. Also from her first rehab at 22. She was then in therapy and in Alcoholics Anonymous. He was so open about it that I didn't worry.”
They both bet on the couple and decided to start a family. According to their story, they had an ideal life: “We lived in the West Village. We had three healthy children. Phil's career was skyrocketing. He and I were still collaborating in theater and film, and I had started directing plays. We had wonderful friends. “We had money.”
Mimi O'Donnell with Philip Seymour Hoffman (Photo: AP)
However, that was “before things changed.” “I hesitate to attribute Phil's relapse after two decades sober to anything in particular,” she reflected. Furthermore, he considered that “Phil was an addict who at the time did not fully understand that addiction is always lurking just beneath the surface, looking for a moment of weakness to come roaring back to life.”
Mimi O'Donnell recalled that there were several things that her husband began to face: the “pains of being in middle age and feeling like he was losing his sexual validity,” seeing “friendly marriages fall apart due to infidelities,” the “death of his longtime therapist from cancer” and a “fight with a group of friends from Alcoholics Anonymous.”
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In that context, added to the fact that “he was making film after film” and that he supported a large family, Phil began to give “little attention” to Alcoholics Anonymous. “He had been sober for so long that no one seemed to notice. But something was brewing,” he lamented.
Signs that anticipated the tragic outcome
The first sign came one day when he told her: “I've been thinking about trying to have a drink again. What do you think?”. She replied that “it was a terrible idea.” First she started having “one or two drinks without it seeming like a big deal.” However, she later confronted him when “drugs came into play.” She “admitted to me that she had obtained some prescription opioids. She assured me that it was just that one time and that it wouldn't happen again. For a while, she kept her word,” she continued.
At one point when he finished his last job, “he started having a lot of alone time and quickly started using again.” It was all “prescription material,” which she doesn’t know “where she got it from.” Then came the heroin. “I told him, 'You're going to die. That's what happens with heroin.' Every night when she left, she asked me if she would see him again,” she recalled.
Hoffman had distanced himself from designer Mimi O'Donnell, his wife, with whom he had three children (Photo: TMZ)
The actor tried to quit drugs on his own, “but detox caused him agonizing physical pain,” so his wife took him to rehab. Two days after returning to his house, he started using again. “In tears, we decided that Phil should move to an apartment around the corner,” he explained, since he “was acting differently and making the kids anxious.”
Shortly after, he decided to return to rehab. After a few weeks there, she returned to her house. He managed to stay sober for three months. “It was a heartbreaking struggle to watch. For the first time I realized that his addiction was bigger than any of us. I bowed my head and thought: I can't fix this. It was the moment I let go. I told her: “I can't be attentive all the time. I love you, I am here for you and I will always be here for you. But I can't save you,'” he said.
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At the same time, Phil traveled to Atlanta to film The Hunger Games. The two began planning another rehab as soon as filming was over. However, that moment never came. “It happened so fast. Phil came home from Atlanta, and I called some people and told them we had to keep an eye on him. Then he started using again and three days later he was dead,” he noted.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead on February 2, 2014 with a needle stuck in his left arm, lying on the bathroom floor. Nearby, in a trash can, were five empty bags of heroin, about 50 doses. He died of “acute mixed drug intoxication.” The deadly cocktail included heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamines, New York City's chief medical examiner determined in the final official autopsy result.