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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Amy Denman

Jason Donovan's dark past after Neighbours – drug abuse to life-saving Johnny Depp advice

Jason Donovan and a number of high-profile Neighbours stars returned to Ramasy Street to bid the popular soap farewell in an emotional final episode.

Jason, 54, shot to fame after playing Scott Robinson on the popular Channel 5 soap from 1986 to 1989.

He later went on to venture in a pop music career but his since returned to acting, where he has been most successful.

However, Jason's life wasn't always smooth sailing as the actor turned to drugs in the 1990s, shortly after leaving the Aussie soap.

Actor Jason previously admitted he began taking drugs in an effort to "be cool".

He told the Press Association in 2019: "No life is perfect, you know, and I’m far from it. I got very lucky very young, I got a little sidetracked by my own desire to think that by going out there and 'crashing the car', as I see it, that I was going to be cool."

Jason added that he doesn't regret the period in his life, but said it "wasted time" and caused "relationships to suffer".

The actor's drug taking spiralled out of control in 1992 when he became a hate figure when he sued magazine The Face for wrongly claiming he was gay and hiding the fact.

Jason has admitted cocaine cost him the best part of a decade and hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Actor Jason admitted his drug habit caused 'relationships to suffer' (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Wylde Moon)
After leaving the soap 33 years ago Jason and Kylie returned to Ramsay Street in the soap's finale (Instagram/ @kylieminogue)

At the height of his addiction, when Jason was playing Joseph in the West End production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, he would come off stage, get out of costume and visit the toilet to "cut myself one hell of a line and snort it all up in one go".

Jason added in his book Between the Lines, that the drug was so normalised it was brought out at dinner parties in London, where he lived in the 80s, "like it was Walls Viennetta".

However, things took a turn when he had a seizure during a Kate Moss's birthday party at her then-boyfriend Johnny Depp's Viper Room club in Los Angeles in January 1995.

Actor Jason turned to drugs after leaving the soap and venturing into theatre acting (PWL /Youtube)

Jason had been returning to his nearby hotel room to snort lines of cocaine throughout the night and later collapsed when Hutchence was performing Van Morrison's Gloria, accompanied by actor Johnny on guitar.

He recalled in his biography: "A crowd had circled round me and Michael [Hutchence] was standing over me trying to empty my trouser pockets. 'Have you got anything on you?' he kept asking me. I tried to speak but couldn't. 'It wouldn't be cool if anything was found on you by the medics', he whispered."

Neighbours star Jason was carried out of the nightclub on a stretcher by paramedics and rushed to LA's Cedars-Sinai hospital.

Jason suffered a seizure at Kate Moss' 21st birthday party in Johnny Depp's LA nightclub (Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
After returning to the club from hospital, Jason received some words of advice from Johnny Depp (WireImage,)

After three hours he discharged himself and returned to the party to apologise, to which Edward Scissorhands star Johnny said: "That's cool don't worry".

Johnny then gave Jason some words of advice, as he said: "We're just pleased that you are okay. Now take some advice from me: go to your room, get some sleep and for God's sake, take it easy in future."

Jason continued to use cocaine in the following years, which gave him more seizures and even made him addicted to porn.

Jason thought he had hit rock bottom when he met his future wife Angela Malloch (Getty Images)
Jason was given an ultimatum by Angela when she was pregnant with the couple's first child Jemma (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

"I basically went out in 1993 and didn’t come home until 1999," he joked in a 2015 interview with the Mirror . "I don’t go out much now. I’ve done it, believe me. But I don’t see it as my worst time. Maybe on reflection it wasn’t my greatest moment, but I was having a f***ing blast!"

He thought he had hit rock bottom when he met his stage manager future wife Angela Malloch on the UK tour of the Rocky Horror Show in 1998.

But, it wasn't until Angela became pregnant with the first of their three children that he cleaned up his act after Angela ordered hi,: "Ditch the drugs or ditch your chance of a loving family life."

Jason chose his family and now shares a close bond with his children (Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The couple welcomed their daughter Jemma in 2000. The are also parents to Zac, 21, and 11-year-old Molly. The pair tied the knot in May 2008.

Jason previously told the Times Weekend magazine of Angela: "Ange is feisty, she keeps me in line. We met, we split up, we got back together again then she told me she was pregnant and she gave me an ultimatum, her and the baby or the drugs."

And, when asked if it was difficult coming off the drug, he said: "No. It wasn’t overnight but I just cut down and then I didn’t want it anymore."

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