AJ Daulerio was only four months sober when the worst thing in the world happened to him. You may remember it; Hulk Hogan sued him (and won) for $115 million. AJ was the editor of Gawker magazine where he ran a story about Hulk Hogan’s sex life. That story destroyed a lot of lives, including AJ’s. In this honest and searching interview, Veronica asks him how he got through such a public shaming sober and what happened next.
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A.J. Daulerio has been to the other side, and he tells us exactly what it’s like.
Not in the sense of the afterlife, but his life after total and complete financial ruin and public embarrassment is nothing that we expect.
What would it be like for you if the media put your entire personal life on display and labeled you a scumbag? What would you do if you woke up to negative $240 million in your checking account?
AJ is a writer and he was involved in the release of Hulk Hogan’s sex tape on the Gawker entertainment news site back in 2012. Hulk decided to sue and got the financial backing to further than anyone had imagined.
So instead of settling on the courthouse steps as they expected, they were dragged before a jury. Gawker went bankrupt, but the case kept going. They went for A.J personally, and at one point he owed over 200 million dollars.
To make it worse, this all happened around the time he decided to get sober for good.
Before all that, AJ was living in New York, writing what he wanted and feeling invincible. Taking Adderall to wake up, Xanax to level out and drinking with friends all night.
He made a culture around his drinking and drug abuse, wearing it as a badge of honor that he was a high performing success and the substances enhanced him like the limitless pill.
Outwardly everything seemed to agree. He moved from promotion to promotion, getting raises with minimal effort. Eventually, in 2014 he quit his job and starting his own media company. That was when his fast life and drug abuse caught up with him.
He could barely function without the drugs, and even when on the drugs he wasn’t productive. The company was failing because of him, so he decided to check himself into rehab.
He cleaned himself up after 51 days in rehab and came out smack in the middle of the lawsuit.
In this episode, we also talk about what life was like during that time, and how he maintained his sobriety right throughout. He also got deep into how he was able to make it to the other side, and what life looks like right now for someone who went through such a public ordeal.
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