In 1991, Rob Lowe was still in the throes of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Around that time, he met his wife and knew he had to get sober to keep her.
Lowe, 50, marked the milestone Sunday and credited his spouse, Sheryl Berkoff, for starting the process of recovery that has led to his impressive 25 years sober, People reported. And it all began simply because he wanted to get the girl, Rob said, according to CBS News.
“I knew that I had somebody … that I wanted to make a go of it with, and that’s … Sheryl … (I) was attempting my first try at monogamy – which was not really in my nature at the time – and I wasn’t able to do it. It made me examine how I was living my life. That led to me getting sober, which led to me changing my life – giving me everything I now have.”
And he really does have everything: a career that’s still going strong decades after the Brat Pack disbanded – including a new show on Fox – and most importantly, a loving marriage and two sons, Matthew, 21, and John, 19.
The impetus for his recovery two decades ago was also the most infamous incident in his public life – a sex scandal in 1988. That year, Rob was taped having sex with one woman and a 16-year-old girl – something he denies knowing beforehand. He did community service as punishment for the offense and came to terms with his illness soon after.
“(The incident) got me to reexamine (myself). I don’t know what (else) would’ve done it. It had to be something pretty big.”
It’s been a long road: Lowe’s struggle began at age 5, when his father gave him his first drink of alcohol. He said he “practically chugged” it, then “vomited all over our living room floor,” E! Online recounted. When it came time to finally stop, he knew he couldn’t do it alone.
“I needed the science. I needed to (learn about) addiction and what it does to your body and all of the research and the things like that. A lot of people can do it through 12-step programs alone—I wouldn’t have been one of them, although I believe in them. I needed to do the work.”
Sober for 25 years now – and married for 24 – Lowe recognized his wife’s role in his recovery publicly, thanking her on Mother’s Day for her support.
Nowadays, Rob’s marriage is strong and evolving every day; he said in 2013 that Sheryl is “great and as wonderful as ever. Emotionally, I am in love like a teenager.”
[Photo Courtesy Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]