Demi Moore’s Best Drama in Years, for All the Wrong Reasons

Hasn’t Demi Moore suffered enough?

In recent months, she’s had to endure the break-up of her marriage to Ashton Kutcher, anorexia (reportedly), exhaustion (supposedly) and a scary reaction to nitrous oxide (in the form of “whip-its”) in her Beverly Hills home that sent her into convulsions and to the hospital via ambulance on January 23.

To put it bluntly but somewhat delicately, aside from helping to launch the current Hollywood cougar craze when she began dating Kutcher, 33, in 2003, things haven’t been going particularly well publicly for the 49-year-old actress since Kutcher was still a teenager. Her career has been mostly on ice since the ’90s, and before the cracks in her marriage to Kutcher started to show, she was newsworthy mostly for having the smokin’ body of an ingenue half her age.

That’s around the age one would expect someone to be who would require medical attention for “whip-it”-induced convulsions. The low-budget drug, most popular with kids half Kutcher’s age, produces a quick burst of euphoria, due to its nitrous oxide content (that’s the chemical compound also known as “laughing gas”). Though this isn’t the kind of stuff that anyone should be inhaling outside of a dentist’s office, it’s commonly used by college-age kids to acquire a quick high.

Couldn’t Moore have made an emergency appointment to the dentist if she was looking for a chemically induced laugh? Instead, she ended up being treated by paramedics at her home and being taken to the hospital, where the official reason given for her condition was exhaustion. But apparently, that’s not code for “whip-its” alone. According to the recently released 911 tape, “She smoked something — it’s not marijuana, but it’s similar to incense.” If exhaustion was involved, it’s not the kind you feel after a hard day at work on a movie set.

Moore has a well-documented history of substance abuse (she spent time in rehab in the ’80s at the urging of her “St. Elmo’s Fire” director Joel Schumacher), so it’s hardly surprising that she may have fallen back into old habits. The day after her trip to the hospital, she checked into a facility where she is reportedly being treated for substance abuse and anorexia, though the official reason is “to treat exhaustion and improve her overall health.”

Considering what must be the precarious state of Moore’s mental health, one wonders how she feels about her latest release, which won’t be shown in theaters, or on TV, but is already available for screening all over YouTube. I’m referring to that tape of an unidentified friend’s 911 call on her behalf.

A few things stand out about the tape, one in which Moore doesn’t actually make an appearance. First, the 911 workers seem to be totally clueless, about how to handle a medical emergency expediently, and to the fact that they’re dealing with a celebrity, even after one of Moore’s friends refers to her by her first name. Second, even in a life-and-death situation, one of her friends still seems to reluctant to reveal the star’s age.

But the biggest shocker of all: that this tape was made public in the first place and ended up all over YouTube — with cumulative views only in the thousands after three days, which is good or bad news for Moore, depending on how you look at it.

Does doctor-patient confidentiality apply to 911 calls? And how do these things go public anyway? Is someone on the inside pilfering confidential tapes and selling them to the highest bidder? If I were Moore, I’d demand a thorough investigation and start calling my lawyers. That 911 call may have saved her life, but it’s not doing her reputation any favors.

Although I could never condone making money or gaining enjoyment from someone else’s misfortune, I think the tape might actually do some good, though not necessarily for Moore or her rep, unless she appears on the cover of People magazine in six months, under the headline “How I Kicked Drugs and Got Over Ashton.”

But for those who watch any of the YouTube videos, they are powerful reminders that drugs can kill (even when they are as innocuously named as “whip-its”) and cautionary tales on how not to push 50 gracefully.

Fortunately, Moore is still around to get that part right. May the next big drama in her life be one with “For Your Consideration” attached to it.

(Read what I once told Anderson Cooper about Demi and Ashton here:



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