Ever since a certain golfer blamed sex addiction for his indiscretion with over a dozen women while he was still married, it seems like you can’t go more than a week before a celebrity is diagnosing themselves with the condition to explain infidelity or other bad behavior. It’s become so mainstream that Jason Sudeikis starred in a film with a character suffering from sex addiction and it barely raised an eyebrow.
There are still people who believe sex addiction isn’t a real thing, or if it is real, it sounds like a lot of fun to have, but both mental health and addiction specialists seem to agree across the board it is a real condition, with a brain reaction similar to that of other addictions such as drugs, alcohol, gambling and eating disorders. Sex addiction isn’t a fun thing and it has ruined a lot of lives.
Cases of sex addiction have exploded with the expansion of the Internet over the last 20 years. At any given moment, more than 29,000 people are viewing adult entertainment on the Internet, at that is likely a conservative number. While numbers of consumption is growing among both genders, women now make one-third of the people viewing erotic content online.
In-patient treatment facilities have seen a boom in numbers as adult entertainment has expanded on the Internet. Similar to the way marijuana is called a gateway drug, some experts believe erotic content is a gateway behavior to riskier sexual habits. Here is a list of 15 celebrities who have come forward, or were forced to come forward, about their sex addiction.
15 Tom Sizemore
Known for his edgy roles in some of the mid-90s most popular films such as Natural Born Killers, True Romance and Born on the Fourth of July, Sizemore is perhaps most known for playing himself during the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, a television show designed to show the outside world what it’s like in rehab. Sizemore’s sex addiction was linked with his drug and alcohol abuse, which resulted in a rare condition called priapism, which is the medical term for prolonged erections that can’t return to a non-aroused state. In 2005, a sex tape featuring Sizemore and multiple women was released. While he is supposedly drug and alcohol free now, being clean certainly hasn’t helped his career.
14 David Duchovny
Somebody had to see this one coming. The guy was the host of the softcore Red Shoe Diaries back in the ’90s on Cinemax and played the lead character in Showtime’s Californication. He’s playing a sex addict in both of these roles! Despite being married to Tea Leoni for much of this time period, rumors of him being a sex addict followed him, forcing him to have to tell Playgirl magazine in 1997, “I’m not a sex addict. I have never been to those meetings.” In 2008, shortly after one of his many break-ups with Leoni, the X-Files actor checked himself into in-patient rehab for sex addiction. The couple tried to get back together multiple times, but finally divorced in 2014.
13 Jesse James
If you need any proof that sex addiction in a real thing, just take a look at the star of Monster Garage, Jesse James. The guy cheated on Sandra Bullock for crying out loud! Bullock filed for divorce in 2010, claiming that James had affairs with multiple women, most notably model MIchelle “Bombshell” McGee. Shortly after the breakup, James checked into Sierra Tucson, considered one of the top in-patient facilities for sex addiction in the country. Like most people with an addiction, when asked by the news media about his issues, James said, “I don’t think I have a sex addiction where I’m running around trying to have sex with everyone and I can’t stop. I think I do things to sabotage my life.” James said this is because childhood abuse left him with low self esteem, a trait common in many sex addicts.
12 Amber Smith
When you’re talking about a woman who has been featured both in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and was a high profile Victoria’s Secret model, you’re usually talking about someone who sells the image of sex for a living, but if you believe what she said on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, she actually resorted to selling sex for a living when the jobs weren’t coming in. Like many addicts, she also wrestled with the drug and alcohol issues, along with co-dependency. Smith tried to revive her career about 10 years with an appearance in Playboy and starring on the Cinemax soft-core series Sin City Diaries, but except for the occasional red carpet appearance, Smith mainly stays out of the spotlight.
11 Michael Douglas
There’s nothing like denial and if there was an award for denial of being a sex addict, it would go to Michael Douglas, and he could put it right next to his Best Actor Oscar for Wall Street. Much like David Duchovny, Douglas’ movie choices, including Fatal Attraction, Disclosure and Basic Instinct all point to someone who is intrigued with sexual behavior. It didn’t help that just a few years ago, he claimed performing oral sex on women was what caused his cancer. Despite the fact Sierra Tucson is considered one of the top in-patient sex addiction treatment centers, Douglas has maintained his stay at the rehab in 1994 was for alcoholism, not sex addiction.
10 Anthony Kiedis
The frontman for monster band The Red Hot Chili Peppers - which is well known for a sexual lyric or two - has talked about his addiction after the Internet became mainstream several times. Some experts still debate whether adult entertainment addiction is actually sex addiction, but for Kiedis, his obsession for ertoci content drove him to some of the same extremes as when he battled with other addictions. “I realized the feeling that I was having was like the feeling that I used to get when I’d go score drugs. I actually had to make a commitment to myself to stop,” the singer told Blender magazine in 2007.
9 Rob Lowe
Much like with drugs and/or alcohol, when somebody famous gets in trouble because of their addiction, they usually immediately head to in-patient rehab in hopes of the law going easy on them. This was the story for Rob Lowe when his sex tape (way before it was cool to have one) was released and rumors circulated a 16-year-old girl was one of the people on the video. He was able to dodge serious consequences and is a rehab success story, having not only kicked sex addiction, but also having stayed away from alcohol for over 20 years now. Lowe spoke of his sex addiction in his autobiography, revealing he never went more than a day without having sex in the 1980s.
8 Tommy Lee
It may have been Rob Lowe who got the celebrity sex tape train rolling, but it was a honeymoon video of Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and his Baywatch babe wife Pamela Anderson that really created the market for that particular genre. Many of us have a stereotype in our head of what the musicians in the hair bands of the late ’80s and early ’90s were like, and it sounds like Tommy Lee lived up to every one of them. His sex addiction is thought to be one of the factors Anderson filed for divorce and it seems believable since Lee was a regular on the message board, Groupie Central, where he would defend himself against allegations he was a womanizer.
7 Billy Bob Thornton
We mentioned earlier it seems unfathomable that some of these actors are able to cheat on beautiful women like Sandra Bullock, but Billy Bob Thornton’s sex addiction totally proves the affliction is real when you consider the target of his cheating was Angelina Jolie...when she was in her mid-20s! The duo regularly spoke of their kinky sex life, even bragging to the red carpet host at an awards show that they had fornicated in the car on the way to the ceremony. According to many published reports, Jolie forced Thornton into therapy after she found out he’d had multiple affairs because of his addiction. Instead of fighting it, Thornton seduced the therapist and Angelina Jolie decided becoming Mrs. Brad Pitt made a lot more sense in the long run.
6 Kari Ann Peniche
By today’s loose standards of celebrity, Peniche qualifies, but she’s as much here to show that women can suffer from sex addiction just as easily as a man. Peniche was first thrust into the spotlight after winning the Miss Oregon Teen USA and Miss United States Teen beauty pageant crowns. Shortly after winning the national pageant, she posed for Playboy magazine and was stripped of the title. Her 15 minutes of fame continued appearing in a kinky, yet sexless videotape showing Peniche with Grey’s Anatomy actor Eric Dane and the Noxzema girl, Rebecca Gayheart. Peniche developed something of a meth addiction and the next stop was Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and later Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew, where she talked about how her unawareness of what real intimacy and healthy relationships were led to her sex addiction.
5 Russell Brand
Until he realized something was wrong, Russell Brand never thought anything was wrong with his sexual behavior. He knew his heroin addiction was a major issue, but he took pride in being named “Shagger of the Year” multiple times in a row by British newspapers. In Brand’s autobiography, My Booky Wooky, Brand talks about having hired people whose sole job was to find Brand women to sleep with and that he would have sex with 50-75 different women in a month. Brand spent time in the all-men’s Keystone Center outside of Philadelphia to deal with his sex addiction prior to marrying singer Katy Perry. Although their marriage didn’t last long, Brand said it didn’t have anything to do with his sexual appetite - or maybe it did - depending on whatever interview he is giving in the moment.
4 Kanye West
West first came out as a connoisseur of adult entertainment to Rolling Stone magazine in 2006 and a few years later told Details magazine a few years later that he had suffered with a sexual addiction for a long time. The rapper told Details: “People ask me a lot about my drive. I think it comes from like, having a sexual addiction at a really young age. Look at the drive that people have to get sex - to dress like this and get a haircut and be in the club or in the freezing cold at 3 am. If you can focus your energy on something valuable, put that into work ethic. While his wife, Kim Kardashian is certainly something of an exhibitionist, there haven’t been any major rumors of infidelity since the two got married.
3 Phil Varone
Professionally he’s best known as the drummer for bands Saigon Kick and Skid Row, but he’s made a bigger career for himself as a professional sex addict, embracing the condition rather than hiding it. After the music stopped, Varone appeared on Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew to address his addiction, which turned into appearances on Oprah and The Tyra Banks Show. Following an appearance as a Playgirl centerfold in late 2010, Varone jumped into the adult film industry working with Vivid Video on a few series of adult films, several of which he’s won Adult Video News awards for. He also has his own line of sex toys. If you can’t fight the demon, you might as well make money off of it.
2 John F. Kennedy
There was no diagnosis of sexual addiction in the early 1960s when John F. Kennedy was President of the United States, but keep in mind there were also no diagnosis for things like bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder and autism. It doesn’t mean they didn’t exist and several experts have come forward saying they think JFK was a sex addict. A tell-all book, The Dark Side of Camelot was released several years ago and among its more salacious claims is that not only did JFK sleep with Marlene Dietrich, his father did as well. The book also detailed Kennedy’s numerous affairs and his treatment of women, which could be called a sport at best and misogynistic at worst. Not surprisingly, Marilyn Monroe was listed as one of his many conquests.
1 Tiger Woods
Ah, the eternal question if being a sex addict results in no longer being the greatest golfer in the world, or if no longer being the greatest golfer in the world leads to sex addiction. Either way, Woods is probably the most public and famous case of sex addiction among celebrities. People wondered what was going on after Woods crashed his Cadillac Escalade following a domestic dispute with his wife. A parade of women second only to Bill Cosby’s accusers appeared from thin air, forcing Woods to address his infidelity in a news conference. Despite the fact he went to in-patient treatment for sex addiction in Mississippi, his wife still filed for divorce.