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Samuel L. Jackson: 'Wife and daughter were fundamental in beating drug addiction'

Published 28/06/2016

LaTanya Richardson and Samuel L. Jackson
LaTanya Richardson and Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson believes the most important thing a person in the grip of an addiction can do is "save yourself first".

Samuel L. Jackson has credited his wife and daughter with helping him beat his drug and alcohol addiction for the second time in a matter of days.

The legendary actor first thanked his spouse LaTanya and 33-year-old daughter Zoe during his Lifetime Achievement acceptance speech at the BET Awards on Sunday (26Jun16), and on the red carpet at the premiere of his new movie The Legend of Tarzan, Samuel elaborated on how much their support had meant to him.

"You look into people's eyes at a certain point, and you realise that they're not punishing you, they're actually telling you the truth," he told People Magazine. "That you are at a point now that you can go this way or you can go that way. You have to look in the mirror and say to yourself, 'Okay, I really need to do this for myself.' And you become a very selfish individual."

Samuel's addiction began early in his career, before peaking at the start of the 1990s when he overdosed on heroin several times before switching to cocaine and eventually going to rehab on his family's orders.

"They're very important in that process," he added of his wife and daughter. "But the most important thing to do is to save yourself first so that you can be of service to those people that you love, and they made me understand that. It was great."

During his acceptance speech on Sunday, Samuel spoke of the moment he and his family realised he had to make a change.

"They found me passed out on the floor after I left somebody's bachelor party and put my a** in rehab the next day and supported me and pushed me and give me a reason to get up and go and chase it day after day," he said.

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