Van Damme Describes Cocaine BingeAP , Associated Press
Aug. 29, 1998 2:07 PM ET
NEW YORK (AP) _ Jean-Claude Van Damme remembers the day he almost died.
It came just over a year ago while Van Damme was out of his mind on cocaine, pacing back and forth in a Hong Kong hotel suite like a caged animal.
``I was in the room, I wrote on the back of a script my problems, my complexes, my fears. I wrote with that coke, like, 80 pages,'' Van Damme says in the Sept. 4 Entertainment Weekly. ``I wrote and I wrote, and I almost passed out. Then I was in the corner of the room. I was dying. I saw my body on the floor. I felt cold, I felt hot, I felt scared. I didn't feel like a man or a woman.
``And then I just came back into that envelope, that body, with that soul, and I said, `I'm not ready. I know what's death after life.'''
Van Damme, 37, who has since been diagnosed with manic depression, says he started doing cocaine in 1993 while making ``Sudden Death.'' He entered a drug rehabilitation center in 1996 but dropped out of the monthlong program after a week.
After the Hong Kong hotel incident, the Belgian star of the upcoming film ``Knockoff'' quit cocaine and now receives medication for manic depression.
``I don't feel the change (on medication),'' he says. ``Maybe I feel 5 percent, but I see the difference in me in the people around me.''