Sweet Magnolias star Chris Klein's difficult past - 'I would have died'

The American Pie actor walked a lengthy road to recovery

Chris Klein has a celebrated career, having graced the big and small screen for decades, but the star admittedly has a chequered past which almost killed him.

The Sweet Magnolias actor, 42, who is currently enjoying success as Bill Townsend in the Netflix romantic drama, has had several run-ins with the law and sought treatment for alcohol addiction too. 

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Chris was first arrested for drunk driving in 2005, not long before his engagement to former-fiancée, Katie Holmes, came to an end, but it wouldn't be the last time. 

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In 2010 Chris was pulled over by police and his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

The American Pie actor served 96 hours behind bars on his own accord and he was 
then sentenced to four years' probation and an 18-month alcohol education class.

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Realizing he needed help, Chris checked himself into the Cirque Lodge rehab facility in Utah, and after a month there, extended his stay to further his recovery.


Chris was arrested twice for DUI - pictured here with his ex-fiancee Katie Holmes

He has certainly come a long way since then and is proud of the sober journey he embarked on, but he admitted, it wasn't easy. 

"I would have died, and I think about that every single day," Chris said in an interview with People magazine. "It got to the point where I was a fragile shadow of the young man that came into this business."

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He was convinced he didn't have a problem because, "I was drinking wine, single-malt Scotch, top-shelf gin. I thought I was sophisticated. I thought people with problems were the ones drinking out of a paper bag standing outside convenience stores asking for change."


Chris is happily married with two children 

Chris - who is married to Laina Rose Thyfault and has a five-year-old son, Frederick, and daughter, Isla, with her - has now been sober for more than a decade. 

"I didn't want to behave the way that I was behaving, so I made a conscious effort to change and better myself," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I needed to get healthy so I could continue to do what I love, which is making movies."

Reflecting on his difficult past he told Entertainment Weekly: "Anything that came before this is a wonderful learning experience.

"We all have growing pains going through our twenties, and I was no different. Hopefully, the negative experiences that you go through, you learn from and they help make you a better person down the line. 

"I believe that is the case for me. I believe that I learned some things that I needed to learn, and I'm using those things to my advantage today to be a better man."

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