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'Glee's Cory Monteith: I'm 'Lucky to Be Alive' After Drug Problems

'Glee's Cory Monteith says his teenage years weren't exactly like the squeaky clean jock he plays on the hit Fox show.

"I'm not Finn Hudson," the 29-year-old actor tells Parade magazine in a candid new interview. "I'm lucky on so many counts. I'm lucky to be alive."

Monteith says he felt like an outsider after his parents divorced when he was 7. He dropped out of high school when was 16.

"Anything and everything, as much as possible," he says of his drug use. "I had a serious problem."

Monteith's mother and some friends staged an intervention when he was 19 because they were afraid he "could die."

"That's when I first went to rehab. I did the stint but then went back to doing exactly what I left off doing."

His life finally began to turnaround after he got caught stealing money.

"I stole a significant amount of money from a family member," he says. "I knew I was going to get caught, but I was so desperate I didn't care."

"It was a cry for help. I was confronted and I said, 'Yeah, it was me.' It was the first honorable, truthful thing that had come out of my mouth in years."

The family member told him to either get clean or face robbery charges.

"I was done fighting myself. I finally said, 'I'm gonna start looking at my life and figure out why I'm doing this.'"

Monteith, who is originally from British Columbia, moved to a small Canadian city, where he paid the rent as a roofer, but also took acting classes.

"I don't want kids to think it's okay to drop out of school and get high, and they'll be famous actors, too. But for those people who might give up: Get real about what you want and go after it."

Monteith recently received his high school diploma and reunited with his father for the first time in 17 years.

June 24, 2011 |

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