"Celebrity Rehab" host Dr. Drew Pinsky was forced to take to the airwaves to defend his show on Tuesday, appearing via a telephone interview on "The View." Mindy McCready, who apparently committed suicide via a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday, was the fifth person who has appeared on the show to die in the past two years.
Pinsky said McCready had been doing well until the death of her boyfriend, David Wilson, in January. Wilson was the father of her younger son, Zayne, and ironically died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death left her "severely shattered," Pinsky said -- and her friends urged him to call her.
After Wilson's death, McCready released a statement in which she referred to him as her "soulmate" and "life partner."
So I called her, and she was in trouble. She was really struggling. She knew it. We discussed the fact that she needed to be hospitalized and head to a psychiatric hospital, but she was so mortified about the stigma and judgment of the public and the press that it really took some convincing.
She eventually did go to the hospital, which is where she should have stayed. But unfortunately, and I really do believe it is because of this same fear of stigmatization, she left prematurely, and that's when things really unraveled. She then lost custody of her children, and that was the last straw.
McCready's sons, Zayne and Zander, from her earlier relationship with Billy McKnight, were put in foster care and she was ordered into rehab earlier this month after McCready's father expressed concern over her behavior. However, McCready stayed in the substance abuse treatment center for only about 18 hours before she was allowed to leave.
Speaking of her death, and the death of others who have appeared on his show, Pinsky said:
In a weird way I wish I could claim more responsibility for this. The reality is, though, I haven't seen Mindy, say, in years. I've talked to her occasionally, and we've been friendly, but I've not been her doctor in years. I wish some of them ["Celebrity Rehab" patients] would stay with us.
Some of them do, and some of them are sober, but some go on their own way and cut their own path. And I wish I could be more responsible for them.
"Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," is a reality television show airing on the cable network VH1 which chronicles a group of people as they're treated for alcohol and drug addiction by Dr. Drew Pinsky and his staff at the Pasadena Recovery Center in Pasadena, Calif. The first five seasons of the series features celebrities struggling with addiction. Beginning with the sixth season, which filmed in early 2012, the focus of the show shifted to non-celebrities, and the series was renamed to "Rehab with Dr. Drew."
McCready was the third person from Season Three to die, and the fifth overall. The show has had six seasons total, thus far.
Aside from McCready, other Season Three castmates to have passed away were Mike Starr, bassist for Alice in Chains, and Joey Kovar, a "Real World" member. Starr and Kovar both overdoses, leading to the assumption that it was a lack of continued rehabilitation treatment that led to their deaths.
Rodney King, who became nationally known after being beaten with excessive force by Los Angeles police officers following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991, was found dead in his pool with marijuana and alcohol in his system. Actor Jeff Conaway ("Taxi," "Babylon 5") was initially thought to have overdosed on drugs, but was later found to have died of pneumonia and an infection.