has addressed the issues that have tarnished his image for a long time. The 64-year-old Piano Man opened up about his drinking problem in a new interview with The New York Times, revealing that deep depression led to his trouble with the bottle.
Joel told the publication that Alcoholics Anonymous or the 12-step program didn’t work for him because he didn’t believe in rehab. In the candid interview, Joel admitted that his alcohol addiction evolved from deep depression stemming from a painful breakup and the 9/11 terror attacks.
The star revealed that in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, he “used booze as medication.”
He recalled, “I was kind of in a mental fog and it had nothing to do with the booze. My mind wasn’t right. I wasn’t focused. I went into a deep, deep depression after 9/11.”
He continued, “9/11 just knocked the wind out of me and I don’t know even now if I’ve recovered from it. It really, really hurt that man could do that to man. And then there was a breakup with somebody and it took me a while to get me back on my feet again.”
Although he didn’t elaborate on the breakup, Joel might have been talking about Katie Lee, whom he married in 2004 when she was just 23.
Talking about his drinking, Joel said that he would begin with Dewars White Label Scotch and then start on the vodka. The star was involved in three car accidents, but only two of them were due to his heavy drinking.
“The first accident, there was no booze involved. I didn’t hit a tree. It’s these really dark roads back up here at night. The car went off the road and into a mud rut,” he told the publication.
He went on, “I had gone through a breakup and was really broken up about it and I decided I’m drinking too much. I should go to rehab. But people made a connection, like, ‘Oh, he went there because he was in a car accident from drinking.’ No”
At the time of the second accident, the “And So It Goes” singer was still married to Katie. Referring to the second accident, he said, “The car slid and smashed into a tree. I went to rehab in ’05 because, when I was with Katie, she said, ‘You’re drinking way too much.’ I never had a D.U.I. in my life. That’s another fallacy. Look at the police records.”
Joel told The New York Times that he still drinks wine when he wants to.
“I have a glass of wine once in a while and I don’t hide it. I have a glass of wine with a meal,” he added.