ROBBIE Williams has revealed he went on a SIX-DAY binge at the height of his drinking and went without sleep for a staggering 144 hours.
The star also vomited “black bile,” fueled by a cocktail of vodka, cocaine and “everything I could get my hands on.” . . but he continued his intoxication.
He now believes he was just hours away from death after the relentless stay in France in 1996.
In the second part of our exclusive interview, Robbie, 49, recalled: “I thought I could snort the most, take the most pills, drink the most and I thought that was a superpower at the time.”
“I didn’t know that this was my quick route to death. You feel like you’re indestructible, I didn’t feel like I was going to die. Only in retrospect do I realize that I was close.
“I stayed awake for six days. I was with someone who was doing business with the dealers and it was a six-day argument that happened very quickly.”
The effects of deprivation are well documented. Symptoms include irritability and cognitive rigidity, where individuals can only think about things in a certain way.
“I was confused most of the time”
Other side effects include loss of motivation, increased blood pressure, paranoia, memory problems, mood swings, vision problems, hallucinations, and difficulty speaking.
Guinness World Records stopped accepting sleep deprivation entries in 1997 for health reasons, but the world record at that point stood at more than 18 days.
Last night, ahead of the premiere of his brilliant new four-part Netflix documentary, Robbie admitted his former Take That bandmates were aware of his partying activities – and worried.
He left the band in 1995.
During the documentary he admits to drinking a bottle of vodka the day before rehearsals.
He adds: “There was a time with Take That before our first MTV Awards in Brussels when I was having, shall we say, a very long celebrity weekend.
“And I just went crazy, took absolutely everything I could, in all quantities, and then I vomited my guts out with this black bile before the live show. It just filled the bathroom floor.
“A doctor injected me with something, then I did the show. It scared me.
“I did the show and then walked out and carried on as if nothing had happened.
“The next day we flew to London and I was walking around Chelsea Harbor and suddenly I realized, ‘Oh shit, I’m an alcoholic, I’m an addict.’ Because I had been close to death but kept going and weakened my better judgment, by the end of Take That I found myself in complete alcoholism and desolate times.
“It was also very dramatic, me alone in the Midland Hotel with a bottle of vodka, on my knees, fists raised to the sky. I was in a state of confusion most of the time.”
In the documentary, Robbie, who has now been sober for more than 20 years, reflects on an incident that left him in the hospital after he fell over in the bathroom and passed out.
He now admits that there were several other similar episodes that he was able to keep out of the press.
Unsurprisingly, he’s grateful that his hellish journey took place before the advent of smartphones turned everyone into a paparazzo.
In a particularly poignant part of the show, he recalls that his mental health was so poor – and that he was so out of control while partying – that he didn’t care if he “died.”
Today, Robbie reveals that during his darkest time he actually started hurting himself – and once slit his wrists.
He says: “There have been a few times where I’ve been taken to the emergency room and other celebrities have died doing what I was doing while I was doing it. I thought, “Oh, I’m next,” and I didn’t care. It was sad. I had no resistance.
“Once, in London Bridge, after Take That and before solo fame, I slit my wrists – but it was more of a cry for help, I guess.”
Today he is clean, sober, happily married to his beautiful wife Ayda and has four children. His biggest vices are exercise – and art.
He works out regularly at his home gym and has his personal chef whip up healthy meals filled with his five-a-day meals.
“They want the next big thing – and it’s not me.”
With a height of 1.80 meters, he has also dropped to a slim average weight of 4.5 kilograms, about four kilograms lighter than in his most “bloated” state.
But his former eating disorder becomes clear in the series of the same name, with the revelation that he once survived on just one banana a day, which is around 90 calories.
(Probably a potato-based vodka diet also contributed a good few hundred).
Then, before our interview, I text him and ask him if it’s fair to assume he has “anorexia.”
He replies that it is so.
As we speak, he continues, “I researched eating disorders after your message to make sure I understood it correctly. And yes, there is an overarching eating disorder that has accompanied me my entire life – it is a mixture of all the disorders.
“I had ‘bigorexia’, which means having no muscles or height, and anorexia.
“However, there is one word missing and that is me.
“It was either restrictive or overeating – I never did it right.
“There is an eating disorder. . . I’m just not sure what my brand is.”
Despite having millions of adoring fans around the world and a wealth of hit singles, awards and records to his name, Robbie remains extremely ambitious.
In addition to recently exhibiting his art at Sotheby’s in London, next on the agenda is building his own hotel and starting an art university for those who want to work in all areas of the entertainment industry.
He admits it’s hard for him to get into the charts as he’s almost 50, but refuses to blame the industry’s tendency towards ageism.
He added: “It is not age discrimination that David Beckham no longer plays for PSG.
“Streaming has changed a lot of things and everyone has their time in pop, it’s for young people. They want the next big thing and it’s not me.
“I am aware that I will soon be deprived of the oxygen that turns you into a Taylor Swift or an Ed Sheeran.
“Madonna had it the longest and she made it epic, but at some point it disappears from all of us.
“And hopefully I won’t stop being myself to my live audience.
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“Now my successes are what I can leave to my children – my legacy for them will be an opportunity.”
- Robbie Williams streams on Netflix from November 8th.