Ted Williams, from homeless to famous to rehab: 'Don't give up on me, America'
Cameras from "Entertainment Tonight" followed Williams as he was shuttled to Bob Hope International Airport in Burbank, traveling with a physician he said will act as his chaperon. He's ultimately bound for Origins Recovery Center in South Padre Island, Texas, a treatment facility recommended by the host of the "Dr. Phil" show. McGraw's practice was originally based out of Texas.
"Hey America, I'm going to get well," he told the ET crew Thursday. "All I ask is that you don't forget me, please."
Williams admitted to Dr. Phil in an interview that aired Thursday that despite his claims of more than two years of sobriety, he’d stumbled during that time and consumed alcohol.
"I can say honestly, Dr. Phil, it didn't lead me to my drug of choice, which was crack."
A physical run-in with one of his daughters that resulted in a trip to the Hollywood police station on Monday night was followed by revelations on "Dr. Phil" from Williams' family about his continued drinking and their fears that he wasn't ready to handle the life that had been presented to him.
The well-worn celebrity story arc that has taken people such as Lindsay Lohan and Robert Downey Jr. years to travel was knocked out by Williams in about two weeks: Talent is discovered, fame ensues, which leads to showers of attention, then a run-in with the law and then rehab.
"Don't give up on me America. I'm on my way to get healthier," he said at the airport, switching to that big voice of his to add, "and come back bigger and better than ever."
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Ted Williams on NBC's "Today" show on Friday. Credit: Peter Kramer / NBC / Associated Press