Ed Sheeran admitted a previously undisclosed struggle with substance abuse in an interview on the U.K.’s “Jonathan Ross Show” that will air on Saturday, according to E! News. While the singer had admitted to occasionally drinking a bit too much in the past, this is his first admission of problem with substances, which he did not specify.
“I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to [fame], and I didn’t adjust because I was constantly working on tour,” he said. “And all the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse. I’d never touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off.”
Before releasing his third album, “Divide,” in March, the singer took a year off that he initially explained as basically giving the public a break from him. “’I just felt like everything I did, I got a very lukewarm reaction by the end of it,” he told The Project. “But you disappear for a year and then people are kind of hungry for it again.”
But now he says the break was more of a recovery. “I didn’t really notice it was happening,” he said. “It just started gradually happening, and then some people took me to one side and were like, ‘Calm yourself down.’ It’s all fun to begin with. It all starts off as a party, and then you’re doing it on your own and it’s not, so that was a wake-up call and [I took] a year off.”
He says his girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn, was key in helping him get back on track. “We live together now, and I think that was a real help grounding me,” he said. “I was a 25-year-old in the music industry on tour, so I just needed someone to balance me out.”
He also said he’s cut back on his drinking. “Often, I’m like, ‘Is it bad that I drink almost every single day?’ And then I look at my friends and most of them do the same. And they’re actually worse than me,” he said. “The first thing Americans say is, ‘There’s a problem, and you need to go to rehab.’ But I don’t wake up and drink. I don’t depend on drink. I just enjoy going out and having fun, being 25 — and I think that’s a normal thing.”