After two months in “serious rehab” – and four drinking-related arrests in as many states, on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assault – Jason Wahler is ready to face his demons.
“I relate to Lindsay,” a repentant Wahler tells People.
“[Lindsay Lohan] is 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.”
Those weren’t always his priorities.
“Anyone who’s big in Hollywood who’s underage gets in [to clubs],” he says.
Really? You’re kidding. No one’s ever seen Hayden Panettiere (the 17-year-old tease) at a club.
Oh, wait, that happens all the time.
Armed with a fake ID that he usually wasn’t even asked for, the Laguna Beach hottie regressed from occasional social drinker to someone who partied hard three or four nights a week – a situation he considered normal.
“Until I started becoming someone I’m truly not,” Jason Wahler says.
His ex, Lauren Conrad, broke up with him for just this reason.
“I did try drugs, but it was never my thing. It was alcohol, for sure. It would take me about 10 drinks before that other side came out. It’s like I was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” said Wahler, echoing the comments voiced en masse by viewers of Laguna Beach and The Hills.
A scuffle Wahler and then-girlfriend Kristin Deluca had with an L.A. tow-truck driver in September 2006 led to a conviction on misdemeanor battery charges.
After passing out in a lobby, then allegedly punching a Seattle hotel security guard in the face April 8, Wahler was charged with criminal trespassing and assault.
“I’m embarrassed as hell, but I really do not remember my arrests,” Jason Wahler says. “They’re blackouts. And that’s scary.”
We’re guessing the same goes for those gun photos.
On April 12, Wahler checked into the Chapman House, a no-frills inpatient facility not far from his home in Orange County, Calif. He said that his former girlfriend (and The Hills star) Lauren Conrad, one of many he mistreated in the past, has visited him.
Wahler is now dating tennis player Katja Decker-Sadowski, a freshman at USC. He says of the rigorous regimen at Chapman House:
“It’s exhausting, but after I started getting back to my senses, it was cool to get up in the morning and not be all hurting.”
Imagine that. Apparently Britney Spears, who resumed drinking immediately after getting out of rehab, missed out on this message at Promises in Malibu.