The former mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum, has announced he is withdrawing from public life and going into rehab.
The news comes after the LGBTQ ally was found by police in a Miami hotel room last week with a man who appeared to have OD’ed.
Police found Gillum, 40, too inebriated to speak in a room at the Mondrian South Beach in the early hours of Friday morning. They also found three bags suspected to contain crystal meth in the room.
The man he was with was successfully resuscitated. A third man had called the police, after entering the room and witnessing the second man pass out.
Gillum issued a statement Friday admitting he had been drunk but denying he’d taken any drugs. “I was in Miami last night for a wedding celebration when first responders were called to assist one of my friends. While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines.”
Gillum was not arrested and the incident is not being treated as a criminal matter.
Multiple outlets have since revealed that the 30-year-old man Gillum was found with had a profile on a male escort website. It has now been deleted. The 30-year-old told the Miami New Times on Friday afternoon he had known Gillum as a friend for the past year. He has since not responded to media requests for comment, instead saying he is consulting with an attorney.
Last night, Gillum issued a further statement.
“After conversation with my family and deep reflection, I have made the decision to seek help, guidance, and enter a rehabilitation facility at this time.
“This has been a wake-up call for me. Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse. I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism and I know the damaging effects it can have when untreated.
“I also know that alcoholism is often a symptom of deeper struggles. I am committed to doing the personal work to heal fully and show up in the world as a more complete person.
“I now need to firmly focus on myself and my family. I will be stepping down from all public facing roles for the foreseeable future.”
Gillum served as Mayor of Tallahassee from 2014-2018. He stood to be Governor of Florida in 2018 but lost to Republican opponent Ron DeSantis.
The progressive Democrat was a regular political pundit on CNN and also founded political committee Forward Florida, an organization to motivate voters in Florida to vote out President Trump. He is stepping down from both roles.
Gillum is married with three children. Some political opponents have voiced delight at his downfall, prompting a comment from his wife, R. Jai Gillum, on Facebook.
“I am overwhelmed by the love and support of all those who love me and my family,” she said. “To those who are praying for us and wishing us well, thank you. To those who delight in the misfortune of others, my sincere prayer is that you’re never in a situation to experience the same treatment. I have learned that every time I judge someone else, I reveal an unhealed part of myself.
“In times of great uncertainty, one thing is clear: This too, shall pass.”