Talking Celebrity Rehab Episode 10 With Dr. Sharp And Jennifer Gimenez

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Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew is back for a fifth season, and we’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk about the show with Dr. Drew and some of the other staff at the Pasadena Recovery Center to get an inside look at the rehabilitation process. This week, we spoke with Jenn Gimenez and Dr. John Sharp about this episode that follows up on half of this season’s cast a few months after they left the recovery center.

We first spoke with Dr. Sharp.

The story with Amy Fisher focuses on Mary Jo Buttafuoco and how Amy wouldn’t meet with her — it’s interesting because Mary Jo seems open to forgiving her, but Amy keeps writing on Twitter these days that she was being manipulated and her past was being exploited in this episode.

She’s really got a bee in her bonnet – from the very beginning, her reaction has been that she’s being mis-characterized, and it’s awful because even though reality TV shows are accused of that, often correctly, I keep saying in no way does Celebrity Rehab do that, so I think she’s stirring up the pot. It’s really not a fair representation of what Celebrity Rehab is all about. She came in with a problem related to alcohol and she was able to come to terms with her over-drinking and making a healthy choice to not do pornography and I think all of that has been shown accurately.

She definitely seems to have made progress where it counts, but she’s just so upset by this follow-up episode that touches on the whole reason she’s famous in the first place.

When the idea emerged to try and help her put the past behind her, it seemed like the right thing to try to do. Bob is a pretty persuasive guy and if he couldn’t get her to see the benefit of getting together with Mary Jo and reconcile fully with the past, and put things behind her, I don’t think I could have either.

It was voluntary to participate in this follow-up show, right? Couldn’t she have said no and avoided this situation?

Oh yeah! She didn’t have to be there. I think people were surprised that the format was more of this individual follow-up because it’s less showy than a reunion, but I think it works better that it’s individualized. She didn’t need to be a part of that.

So on the one hand we have Amy who wants to avoid confronting her issues, and then we have Michael who exposes himself to situations he was only recently in himself, participating in interventions with other addicts and trying to help people with the same problem that he has, and it’s addressed that it’s pretty soon for him to be doing that.

Right, yeah, and he’s been talking with me about how he really wants to help others and he’s in a position to do that based on his experience, and I agree, it’s kind of soon to do that when you’re in early recovery and it’s probably not great to be working with people who have the exact same problems that you have.

Do you think he has a weird sense that he knows best now, since he’s been through it recently and it’s fresh in his mind?

No…well, what he might say is that through his experience and turning things over to a higher power, he has a very strong sense of what needs to happen, and he learned that the hard way and he wants to share that. One coping mechanism that we use is called “making passive into active” and that means rather than just going along for the ride, you take charge. If you do that deliberately and strive to help others it can be all good, as long as you’re aware that you’ve got to take care of yourself first and you’re not helping others as your only way to help yourself. He certainly has the best of intentions and he has a big heart.

Let’s talk about the people who seem to have made the most progress in this episode, Bai Ling and Jeremy Jackson. Jeremy looks amazing now.

It’s unbelievable, he looks great. He told me as an illustration of how off he was before he started treatment, he took a bunch of head shots because he was convinced that afterward, when he didn’t have all that bulk, he wouldn’t like the way he looked and he wouldn’t be handsome, and now of course he looks so much better. And he can see that now, he can see that he was seeing through a distorted lens.

He also mentions body dysmorphia, did he need to be treated for that as well as the drugs?

Well, when he says that he means his distorted body image and it was something he needed to work on but it wasn’t a separate endeavor. He can look in the mirror now and see himself as healthy, when someone has persistent body dysmorphia, they don’t have that perspective, so he had some of that but it was really drug-induced. As he left that world, he was able to see things more honestly.

And Bai Ling seemed so positive too, she’s not the same person we saw at the beginning of the show.

It’s really extraordinary, her spirit, the way people respond to her genuineness…In the beginning we saw someone scattered and disturbed, and she was really in another world. She’s very clearly in this world now and benefiting. She did a very good job utilizing the medication and psychotherapy in getting off the alcohol. She made a real commitment to a healthy plan and living that out.

Next up, chatting with Jennifer Gimenez, who started things right off the bat by bringing up Mary Jo Buttafuoco.

Let me just tell you, Mary Jo broke my heart.

Yes! She really gets you to sympathize with her doesn’t she? She comes off as a forgiving person who knows the struggle of addiction too.

Yeah, I thought that was pretty amazing how she said that. I think it was a missed opportunity for Amy, there would have been a lot of closure for her there.

Who stood out to you in this episode as far as their recovery?

I was really awestruck by Bai Ling. She has such a great story and she’s in a new chapter of her new life and we see the changes and the growth in her, she’s very strong. I’ve seen her work through some very serious issues and there’s so much promise there, it’s a beautiful thing.

And with Jeremy Jackson, who I’m really close with and I absolutely love, I’ve seen how much he’s worked. He was the only one who went to after care every time, he’s really done the work and I’ve seen the changes in him. I’m proud of him. But to be truthful I’m proud of all of them. The seed was planted and there has been improvement in all of them.

Watching Michael Lohan, I see that he’s struggling and growing at the same time. I love that he can talk about his co-dependency and wanting to fix everyone else instead of himself, I think he got to understand that when he saw Drew and Bob. With Amy, I think that her giving up porn and moving to a new state, I think that’s great for her to go and try to find herself with her family, it’s wonderful. It’s hard because there are some deep-rooted issues there with her and Mary Jo, and I do believe there could be a lot of closure, maybe one day she’ll be ready. I’m not here to judge it, I think it was great that she addressed it, and maybe she feels that she said her sorries in her own way. It was inspiring to see how forgiving Mary Jo is.

Right, even if we didn’t get their reunion, it’s important to get her perspective because as she says, they’re forever going to be linked.

And for someone like Mary Jo, I think it takes courage to watch the show and come clean about her experience in recovery and wanting closure for herself. There are a lot of wounds and that changed both of their lives. To see that they’re both still going is just wonderful.

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  1. Rhonda Favero says:

    I just finished watching Celebrity Rehabs 9/4/11 episode. Am I the only one who thinks this Amy Fisher person is the most selfish, coldhearted, whiney, pathetic excuse for a human being? I couldn’t believe her reaction to the idea of meeting with Mary Jo Buttafuoco. My jaw dropped! Dr. Drew, you’re beating a dead horse with this one. Amy Fisher is a lost cause.

  2. pms says:

    Amy Fisher is a narcissist and as such needs to blame her actions on someone else and also disassociate herself from any wrongdoings. Narcissists like her are the perpetual “victims” in their own minds to justify their horrific behaviors even when they are the perpetrators. If you embrace the program as outlined in the 12 steps, then you are responsible for your actions and accountable as well in order to recover (body, mind and spirit). “Half measures availed us nothing”… Going to Florida is probably a geographical because she takes her depleted, sick self with her. Pity to her kids. And as for Michael, he is still his own Higher Power and that grandiosity will cost him and those he professes to “help”. Help yourself first and then you will have something of value to offer others. The others looked good so far since they appear to be practicing what they preach although Jeremy didnt need a brand new relationship at this point.

  3. Sherry says:

    Using hindsight of my 36 years of c&s living, and my 8 yrs of residential rehab work, and my 36 years of interacting with addicts of all kinds, at meetings and H&I, here’s my piece. I am not sure of the motives of Ms B. She says she’s sober and on the recovery path, but I sensed she would use this meeting to ‘take care of herself’ and her angry feelings. Personally, I can’t remember anyone getting shot, surviving and being “okay” about it so quick. And the wrongness of this whole meeting was not giving patient, newcomer Amy the room to start practicing her recovery on her own terms. How old was she? An underage girl who was disturbed enough to not see the manipulation of Mr Buttafuoco et al. SHE WAS UNDERAGE then Not mature, not rational. Amy has a wonderful husband too. I was thinking I was gonna have to sic my Italian family on him to knock his mack hand off, but I thought his no hesitation for her quitting porn was a very hopeful moment. Amy should have changed her last name as soon as she got out of prison, I think. It would have saved her days of misery with the world. It took me 10 years before I even made an honest dent in my trauma history. It took way longer for me to ‘get there’ . all the sponsors who tried to help. My perp did 32 years, allegedly clean and sober. No, I don’t want to see him, or accept anything. Tell him to tell it to the Chaplain.
    This restitution may have to wait until Amy buys into her program work for awhile dudes. Your persuasiveness was not called for. I think she knew intuitively to protect herself. You know guys, she may NEVER do a face-to-face. But she can stay sober, with AA and love surrounding her. No disrespect, I care too. Michael, slow down! You can do it, but you should have your sponsor there with you. AA always sends out 2 people.
    Recovery has to do with ego-deflation in depth (not my words). Become teachable. I love my Irish folks. Most of us are so INTENSE. Don’t let it kill you. I Love Bai, Jeremy, and all the rest. One Day At A Time.

  4. Jean Ader says:

    I don’t think Amy will be healthy with her husband around. She appears to want him to save her and he plays that role. She has to save herself.

  5. daisygrant says:

    I don’t normally say negative things about people but I can’t stand Amy! Not just because she shot Mary Jo but I can’t stand her as a person.She should still be in Jail and if she was truly sorry for what she did, she would have turn her life around and not done porn or drank or got married to that controlling ass that is way to old for her. And her not wanting to meet with Mary Jo, justified everything I thought of her…a coward, selfish, poor excuse for a human.

  6. Sherry says:

    Hey program people. Amy IS A NEWCOMER. Her past you can see has torn her up. Where I come from we can’t stay haters for too long. It is possible to confront her past, when she gets around to her 9th step, and it STILLmay not look like you think it should. And who are you guys to look at Amy through the template of the perfect program?She has admitted she has THE DISEASE. What else Amy does is up to her sponsor, her HP and herself. Of course therapy would help, especially if she has deep scars, which looks like to me she does. Maybe you have never seen a newcomer. Bai, Michael and Amy ALL demonstrated big problems. And we can’t forget Mr Adler. Aren’t we supposed to be warped when we first come to recovery? I think so. I love crazy people. There but for the Grace of God go I.

  7. daisygrant says:

    Sherry…Idk if your referring to me but I know all about the program trust me. I’m not referring to how shes doing. I’m saying I can’t stand her as a person. Plain and simple.