Deen Castronovo, the now ex-drummer for the rock band, Journey, opened up recently about the domestic violence charges that ultimately led to his firing from the band he’d been a part of for 17 years.
In an exclusive interview with the Statesman Journal, Deen Castronovo spoke about his drug addiction, the mental and physical abuse his ex-fiancée, Deidra, suffered at his hands, his 15-day jail stint, and his road to recovery and forgiveness. The brutally honest interview happened on Monday, November 2, at the home of Castronovo’s eldest son in Keizer, Oregon, where Deen has been living since his completion of court-ordered drug rehab.
With no secrets too scandalous to talk about, Deen Castronovo openly admits to abusing his former fiancée, and discusses the events that led up to his arrest in June on domestic violence charges. In the interview, Castronovo made sure to mention that the domestic violence counselling he has to attend as part of his four-year probation sentence has taught him that the abuse he unleashed on Deidra wasn’t a result of his drug addiction — at the time he says he was on a 24-day methamphetamine binge — but that his addiction merely exacerbated his already existing anger issues.
“It’s my truth, I have nothing to hide. I was a verbally abusive man. I was a physically abusive man. Domestic violence is really a choice, and it is calculated. The drugs and the alcohol exacerbated it immensely, but there’s no excuse for what I did. I deal with it every day, and it’s deeper than regret or remorse.”
Castronovo also credits his current sobriety to Deidra, calling the police on him that day in June, when, after a particularly violent fight, Deen was arrested and charged with assault, coercion, and menacing. Once police had completed their investigation, Castronovo also had rape, sexual abuse, and unlawful use of a weapon added to his charges, reports Ultimate Classic Rock.
“Had it not been for [Deidra] calling the police and the intervention of the prosecutors I’d probably be dead,” Castronovo admits.
After pleading guilty to two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault, two counts of domestic violence menacing, one count of unlawful use of a weapon, and one count of coercion, Deen Castronovo was sentenced to four years of probation, during which Deen must successfully complete court-ordered domestic violence counselling, and a 75-day inpatient drug rehabilitation program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Springbrook Center. The inpatient treatment has already been completed, and Deen Castronovo is currently 127 days sober.
Deen also spent 15 days in jail following his arrest. Fifteen days which, Castronovo said, scared him straight.
Following his rehab stint, Castronovo voluntarily signed up for an 18-month intensive post-treatment program that includes random urine tests, and daily breathalyzer tests — which he pays for out of his own pocket. Four times a day, for the next 18 months, Castronovo must blow into a hand-held breathalyzer that also has a camera embedded in it — for identification purposes. The device then transmits the data to an online portal that his probation officer can check. Deen is also participating in a 12-step program, and says he attends regular meetings.
Though Castronovo was kicked out of the band he’d been a member of for nearly two decades, Deen says he does not blame his Journey brothers.
“They had to. They have an impeccable legacy, and I tarnished that. They didn’t fire me to punish me. They fired me because they love me and they wanted me to get help. They knew I couldn’t do it and be on the road.”
Now on the road to recovery, Deen Castronovo says he is using this time to find his identity again — an identity which, for decades, had been tied to being a rockstar — and he hopes to use this second chance he’s been given, to help others who might find themselves in the same position to avoid the same kind of destruction he caused.
[Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images]