Ex-'Laguna Beach,' 'Hills' star Jason Wahler "embarassed" by arrests
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/22/2007
Former Laguna Beach and The Hills star Jason Wahler has been arrested four times in the last several months, but don't ask him about any of the specifics.
"I'm embarrassed as hell, but I really do not remember my arrests," said Wahler in the June 22 issue of People. "They're blackouts. And that's scary."
While Wahler's memory may be wobbly about his alleged alcohol-fueled arrests, they are well documented. Last September, Wahler reportedly punched a tow-truck driver as well as a Los Angeles city employee and was accused of using racial slurs against two of the victims, who are African-American. He pleaded no contest to one count of battery and received a two-month jail sentence and was also required to attend a one-day program at the Museum of Tolerance.
Wahler was due to begin serving his sentence in early May, but that was delayed by a judge because of what People described as a stint in "serious rehab."
"It's exhausting," Wahler told People of the two months he's spent in rehab. "But after I started getting back to my senses, it was cool to get up in the morning and not be all hurting."
Wahler was hurting so much due to all the drinking he was doing, a bad habit that landed him in trouble yet again only a month after being sentenced for the alleged September beating when he was arrested on April 8 in Seattle and booked on charges of assault and criminal trespassing.
According to the incident report, officers responded to a disturbance at a Marriott hotel where a security guard claimed two guests had been wrestling in the lobby. After issuing warnings to stop, the guard reportedly accused Wahler of punching him in the mouth before being restrained by a friend. Wahler then allegedly fled the hotel, only to return "a short time later" when police found him passed out in a third-floor hallway "smelling strongly of alcohol."
"I did try drugs, but it was never my thing. It was alcohol, for sure," Wahler told People. "It would take me about 10 drinks before that other side came out. It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
Wahler's legal troubles may not be getting as much attention as a certain 26-year-old The Simple Life star who is currently being held in Los Angeles' Century Regional Detention Center and serving the remainder of her 45-day sentence that resulted from parole violations of a September 2006 drunken driving conviction. However the similarities are still enough for Wahler himself to notice them.
"I relate to Paris Hilton," he told People. "Because she's the same age as I am. I'm only 20. And to say that I can't drink ever again -- even on my 21st birthday -- is hard. But I don't care, as long as I'm healthy and happy."
But therein lies the problem for Wahler, as his four run-ins with the law -- don't forget his March arrest in Greenville, NC for underage drinking and resisting a public officer during a raid at a local nightclub -- have all involved alcohol in some way or another and he's not even old enough to enjoy the occasional libation.
Wahler told People he considered himself a social drinker, that is "until I started becoming someone I'm truly not." His celebrity status from The Hills and Laguna Beach also didn't make it any easier to stop drinking.
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"Anyone who's big in Hollywood who's underage gets in [to clubs]," he told People.
On April 12 Wahler ditched the club scene for a stay in Orange County's Chapman House inpatient rehab facility. Once there, he realized what the demons that were hounding him had done to his life.
"When I was away from L.A., sober, not surrounded with random people, I finally realized, 'I'm killing myself,'" he told People.