If you thought gossip columnists sat home by the glow of their computers and typed up stories, check out Chris Gardner’s revelations to 20/20 of living in the very fast lane with some of Hollywood’s hottest stars.
Raised in Iowa, Gardner ran to LA after graduating college, chasing the Hollywood dream. He got his start reporting on nightlife in the clubs on infamous Sunset Boulevard for The Hollywood Reporter. His early success in getting close to celebrities landed him a high-profile position at People Magazine.
Gardner explains, "My job was not only to socialize with the people that I was covering, but to get exclusive news before anyone else. And it's a really competitive game. My first week on the job, my editor said, 'I want you to become friends with Paris and Nikki, and Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears.’”
Gardner became so popular he could simply text a star like Lohan for a story. However, there was also a dark side to his glamorous job of living it up with celebrities. It led to a dangerous addiction to drugs, including cocaine. He didn’t just feed his own addiction, he also provided drugs for the celebrities he partied with.
"Chris would be the guy who would leave the nightclub,” says LA crime reporter for The Daily Beast, Christine Pelisek. “He'd go downstairs and wait a half an hour while the dealer pulls up. He deals with them, he gets the coke. And then he goes back in, 'cause the celebrities, God forbid, you know, they go out and get their own stuff.”
According to Gardner, he did drugs with Lindsay Lohan as well as Naomi Campbell. Both stars declined to comment on his allegations, but how could Lindsay possibly be expected to remember everyone she did bad things with?
As Gardner’s addiction spiraled out of control, he began to miss the stories he was supposed to be reporting, including the 2005 break up of Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt. Gardner eventually lost his coveted job at People Magazine. But his celebrity connections continued to find him other reporting gigs until one party too many led to an overdose, seizures, and a wake up call. Live like a celebrity and you risk dying like one.
Check out his interview below: