David Hasselhoff's Fall From A-List to Addiction

Hasselhoff's drinking has overshadowed his once huge TV career.

May 4, 2009, 5:46 PM

May 5, 2009 — -- He was once considered one of the world's biggest TV stars.

These days, David Hasselhoff, the star of the iconic television series "Baywatch" and "Knight Rider," is known as much for his acrimonious divorce and drunken antics off-screen as he is for his current role as one of the judges on "America's Got Talent."

Reports that he was hospitalized this weekend after a drinking bender only add to the fodder of Hasselhoff as a washed-up television icon.

Hasselhoff's reps, however, say all is not as it appears.

"He's a recovering alcoholic," his attorney Mel Goldsman told ABCNews.com. "But he's really been doing great."

Goldsman called reports that Hasselhoff suffered from a case of alcohol poisoning and had to be hospitalized Saturday "nonsense."

In a statement released Monday to ABCNews.com, Goldsman said: "Mr. Hasselhofff was at no time in the condition described in those stories. Mr. Hasselhoff spoke to his attorneys on Sunday, and was absolutely fine."

RadarOnline.com first reported that Hasselhoff's 16-year-old daughter Hayley found him unconscious and hardly breathing Saturday, at which point she called her mother, Hasselhoff's ex-wife, Pamela Bach, who rushed him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he was treated for alcohol poisoning.

TMZ then reported that Hasselhoff was indeed drinking but was nowhere near unconscious. But he was fighting an illness, and combined with the drinking, he decided to take a trip to the hospital, where he remained overnight, according to the report.

On Sunday, Hasselhoff's publicist Judy Katz told TMZ: "(Hasselhoff) is fine and well and happy and is celebrating his father Joe Hasselhoff's 80th birthday tonight at dinner ... along with his girlfriend, Kimberly."

Goldsman dismissed RadarOnline's report as a false story planted by Hasselhoff's ex-wife. Bach's representative did not return phone calls from ABCNews.com.

In the statement released to ABCNews.com, he said, "Mr. Hasselhoff is both disturbed and saddened by the fact that a certain individual is disseminating grossly inaccurate stories about him to the press for ulterior motives."

Timeline of Hasselhoff's Decline

Goldsman is referring, of course, to Bach, Hasselhoff's wife of 16 years and the mother of their two daughters Taylor and Hayley.

He told ABCNews.com that, as part of the divorce settlement, Bach was precluded from contacting the media regarding her ex-husband, and she would be in violation of the court order if indeed the story came from her. He said they are considering filing a legal action against her.

It wouldn't be the first public battle for the once popular television personality, whose career has been on a downhill slide since "Baywatch," which was once watched by an estimated 1 billion viewers, ended in 2001.

More popular in Europe, Hasselhoff even scored a number-one hit on the German pop charts with his 1989 song "Looking for Freedom," which he sang on top of the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve, 1989.

But Hasselhoff's personal life began to overshadow his public persona when reports of his drinking and the breakup of his marriage first surfaced. Here are some of the key events of Hasselhoff's descent:

January 2006

Hasselhoff announced that he was filing for divorce from Bach, a former star of the soap opera "The Young and the Restless" and the couple had agreed to an amicable settlement.

But by March, it was clear the gloves were off. Bach accused Hasselhoff of domestic violence and asked the court for a temporary restraining order. The judge denied the request, instead ordering the two to stay away from each other.

July 2006

British tabloids reported that Hasselhoff was not allowed to board a British Airways flight because he was drunk. His publicist denied the allegation and told the BBC that after having a negative reaction to antibiotics Hasselhoff voluntarily chose not to board the plane.

Earlier in the month, he denied being thrown out of a bar at the All England Club in Wimbledon, telling The Associated Press that it was another made-up story by the tabloids. "I was at Wimbledon, and they said I was escorted out drunk. ... Absolutely not. I don't drink anymore."

Hasselhoff attended an alcohol treatment program after a drunken driving charge in 2004.

Hasselhoff Had Himself Filmed Drunk

May 2007

A home video of a drunken Hasselhoff lying shirtless on the floor of a Las Vegas hotel room while trying to eat a hamburger turned up on a couple of entertainment shows.

In it, his daughter Taylor, who shot the video, can be heard saying, "You need to promise me you're not going to get alcohol tonight, OK? 'Cause if you get alcohol tonight you are fired from your show [he was starring in a production of "The Producers"] tomorrow."

Hasselhoff apparently asked his daughters to tape him if he were to relapse. The tape showed one man's personal struggle with alcoholism, but it also contains some larger lessons about involving children in the battle over addiction.

At the time, Bach told ABC News that she didn't want her daughter caught up in "helping" Hasselhoff battle his addiction.

"I don't want my daughter taping him and involving herself just so he can see himself intoxicated," Bach said. "She is not the parent, and I don't want her playing the parental role, it's very upsetting. This is an obvious cry for help."

October 2008

In an interview with Britain's Daily Mail, Bach said that most of her marriage was a sham.

"David is a falling-down drunk and I covered up for him for years," she said. "Everyone thought he was the golden star in swimming trunks, on the beach with Pamela Anderson, but the drink was taking over his life. To me, he was the man who fell over on the bedroom floor."

March 2009

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton accused Bach of the pot calling the kettle black when she was busted for a felony DUI March 11 in Los Angeles. She spent three hours in jail before posting $100,000 bail.

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