Staying Sober With Daniel Baldwin

As Baldwin and his sober friends made the four-hour drive toward central New York, the O'Haras were gathering in Eamon's boyhood home, where his mother and father still live. Pete, Eamon's cousin, was one of the family members in attendance. Pete was not only Eamon's best friend but his boss, too -- that is, when Eamon was sober enough to show up to work. Eamon's 20-year-old brother, Erinn, and 18-year-old sister, Maggie, made long trips home from college for the most important family gathering of their lives.

Maggie hoped her oldest brother would appreciate the family's intervention. But she feared Eamon might take one look at the family sitting in the telltale semicircle of chairs and make a run for it.

"He's such a strong person in certain ways that I really think he's just going to get mad at us. But if we can get him to sit down and actually, like, listen to what we have to say, I think he'll realize how much we're there for the right reasons."

Last-Minute Preparations

Despite a wild Friday night of binge drinking, Eamon had managed to show up for work that Saturday. When his mother called and asked him to come to her house and help move something, he had no idea what the family had in mind.

As they waited for Eamon to arrive, Baldwin explained the ground rules. He wanted them each to tell Eamon how self-destructive his drinking was, and how that behavior makes them feel. He reminds them that it's important not to make Eamon feel defensive but instead feel loved and supported.

Erinn told Baldwin that the ABC News production equipment set-up to record the intervention would not interfere with what he needs to say to Eamon.

"I know that once my brother comes in here, my emotions are just going to take over," he said. And without warning, Eamon walked in the front door.

He was shocked to see Daniel Baldwin sitting with his entire family in his parent's living room.

"What the hell is going on?" he asked.

Baldwin asked Eamon to have a seat, listen and trust that what is about to happen is very important. One by one the family faced Eamon and shared their love for him, and their fears.

His mother, Kristen, spoke first and declared, "I love you so much, Eamon. And I'm scared all the time." His dad, Tim, echoed the sentiment, saying, "I can remember going over to the house wondering sometimes, and trying to wake you up, if you were still going to be breathing."

Later on, Baldwin described his intervention strategy to ABC News. "I feel like a coach that's recruiting a college athlete," Baldwin said. "The way I set it up, it took some prodding. I guess, you could say I'm trying to trick them into getting emotional in some ways, because I need the subject to see the father cry, to see the mother cry, to see the sister cry, to see how desperate it's gotten."

When Eamon's brother, Erinn, began to wander away from the talking points, Baldwin challenged him by asking a provocative question. "Do you remember what you said when I asked you what you love about Eamon right now?"

"I love nothing about you right now," Erinn told Eamon. "It's heartbreaking. I want you in my life. The way it used to be."

Eamon sat still for 40 minutes during the emotional testimonials. Then Baldwin explained that he had arranged for Eamon to attend a 28-day rehab program at The Malibu Beach Recovery Center (known at the time as the Marshak Rehabilitation Clinic) in Malibu, Calif. if he agreed to get on a plane that night.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...