Fresh out of rehab, Semel has a new outlook on life and love. The daughter of former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel is speaking to Hollyscoop exclusively about her struggle to stay clean and sober, her turbulent relationships, and how her family literally saved her life. Here's what she had to say:
HS: What did you learn from rehab?
Courtenay: "In my eyes rehab is Hollywood’s version of a vacation it’s merely a way to recharge your battery and a way to cleanse your mind, body, and spirit. It’s good to humble yourself, remember to live in the moment...Everyone needs to take a break from their life sometimes to see things more clearly."
HS: Why did you enter rehab?
Courtenay: "I reached a point where I was spiraling out of control. It was a very rough year for me. I lost my financial support, lost a lot of friends, had people who I considered friends sell me out, lost the love of my life, and ultimately lost my entire emotional support system. When my family cut me off and left my life, I was struggling to financially support myself, handling all my work, and dealing with an abusive relationship. I got to the point where I was physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. I had a hard enough time losing my families emotional support, but once they took away my home, I found myself struggling for survival. My body literally broke down, and I realized I could die if I didn’t do something fast."
HS: What advice do you have for Lindsay Lohan?
Courtenay: "Everyone seems to forget Lindsay is only 22. People should thank her for allowing her teen years to be publicly displayed instead everyone just brings her down. It’s like everyone is just manifesting her downfall. The more you tell someone not to do something the more they’re apt to do it. I learned that the hard way. It’s like leave her alone already they’re just wasting their time. She is very strong and talented and I know she will surprise everyone with a comeback. She just needs to focus her energy on her work instead of her relationship and needs positive influences surrounding her. But in the end it’s no ones business. She’s ignoring what the media is saying about her so it’s kind of like a waste of time like find someone else to pick on."
HS: Who made you enter rehab?
Courtenay: My family did an intervention on me and I refused the help at first, until I realized that they were merely trying to save my life. So I agreed to take them up on their offer. I was at the point where I couldn’t make any decisions myself. It wasn’t about entering rehab to get my money back... In the end I realized I needed to take responsibility for my actions and save my own life."
HS: Is it tough to not relapse?
Courtenay: "It really is about who you surround yourself with and what you focus your energy on. Even though I wasn’t in rehab this time for drugs and alcohol, I did get sober and I noticed how much better I felt having a clear mind. Alcohol gives me chipmunk cheeks anyways and it bloats you, so not a cute look."
HS: Are you still in contact with Tila Tequila?
Courtenay: "No, I’ve closed that chapter in my life. But I wish her the best."
HS: How is your relationship with Casey Johnson going?
Courtenay: "I’m actually single right now. I need to focus on myself and my career."
HS: Have you reconciled with your father?
Courtenay: "Of course. Family is the most important thing in life. Your family will be the ones to pick you up when no one else will. They gave me the gift of life twice. Once at birth and once now. I will never forget it. In the end I realized money doesn’t buy you happiness… It only buys you a higher thread count on your sheets."
HS: What projects are you working on now?
Courtenay: "After a very long hiatus.. I'm coming back to TV.. I'm doing a reality show with Bunim Murray Productions. But I'm going to let the network make that announcement themselves. I finished my final chapter of my book while in the rehab. We're going to start shopping that around very soon."
HS: How do you want to influence others?
Courtenay: "I’d really like to give the younger generation a positive role model. And I’ve literally dealt and overcome every teen issue so now I can give back and help others."