Monteith, 29, told Parade magazine that he “had a serious problem” with a number of drugs in his teens. After years of skipping school to drink and get high, the actor dropped out when he was 16. “I burned a lot of bridges,” he said. “I was out of control.”
He went to rehab at age 19, but didn’t change his ways until he experienced a “crystallizing event.”
“I stole a significant amount of money from a family member,” he said. “I knew I was going to get caught, but I was so desperate I didn’t care. It was a cry for help. I was confronted and I said, ‘Yeah, it was me.’ It was the first honorable, truthful thing that had come out of my mouth in years.”
When he was 19, he said he moved to a small Canadian city where he got clean and began acting. Now, in addition to being a star on a hit Fox show, Monteith is a high school graduate. He got his diploma from an alternative school this Spring.
Even though he’s a big time TV star now, Monteith doesn’t want others to follow in his footsteps. “I don’t want kids to think it’s okay to drop out of school and get high, and they’ll be famous actors, too,” he explained. “But for those people who might give up: Get real about what you want and go after it. If I can, anyone can.”