I recently interviewed Jeanie Clarke, ex-wife of 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, and former WCW talent known as 'Lady Blossom.' In the second and final part of the interview below, Clarke talks about coming up with the name "Stone Cold," battling addictions, hitting rock bottom, getting clean, Prince and Chyna passing away and more. You can also listen to the interview in the video above, or download it at this link.
Click here for part one of the interview, where Jeanie talked about getting her start in pro wrestling, working with ex-boyfriend Chris Adams in World Class Championship Wrestling, signing with WCW, working with Chris Adams and Steve Austin and more.
You can also purchase her new book, Through the Shattered Glass, at this link.
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One of the famous stories is you coming up with the name 'Stone Cold' for your husband at the time, Steve Austin [who had been wrestling as "The Ringmaster"]:
"We were just sitting on the couch flipping through channels, and it was very much a fluke again. We saw this show and this man was called 'The Iceman.' Steve was like 'that's the kind of character I want to be.' He was a hitman or something and put people in the fridge. Steve told the WWF offices and they brought back names like Ice Dagger, Fang McFrost. I remember Brian Pillman on speakerphone in absolute hysterics over these names. Steve just couldn't get it. He would drink hot tea, and he was sitting by the edge of the bed and I just said 'don't worry, you'll think of something. Now drink your tea before it gets stone cold. There it is, there's your name.' He had this big smile."
With your book, you talk a lot about addictions, when did you decide it was something you were going to speak about.
"I think it's important to talk about, but I hid my addictions for a long time. It started during my marriage with Steve, after we moved back to Texas. Most addicts do progress. Ambien, Valium, Vicodin, GHB all became out of control. I write in my book some scary stuff. I had to be resuscitated. I was in the hospital several times, some scary stuff. Ruining my marriage. Years of being an addict. Want to stop, but can't. If you asked an addict if they wanted to stop I think they'd say they'd like that. I had several seizures and I would take the pills and throw them down the toilet. Then you start getting the drug psychosis, the withdrawals. You just can't stop. You become more and more secretive, lying to people. Life is torture and if you try to stop you have bad withdrawals.
"My daughter called a rehab after I progressed to harder drugs. I was in rehab for six months. The first three months were hell when I was detoxing. Coming out of rehab is a readjustment. You look at the consequences of the things you've done. Your house is a mess, I hadn't paid my bills. You don't realize how deep addiction can take you. I've been clean for three years, and when I came out I decided to write a book. It was very therapeutic to write about my lack of responsibility with my own daughters. I want to make amends with my daughters about certain things, but an addict is an addict, and there's a lot of ways you have to be honest. Holding your hands up and saying 'I was an addict, I did this wrong,' is a part of the healing. I don't say anything about wrestling in any way, because I know WWE has a hell of a Wellness Program now. I think I was a victim in a way, and I'm lucky to be alive. I've almost died three times. I write all about that, and I feel really blessed that I can write a book and hopefully people can find it inspirational. It does tell you what can happen when you take these pills and how difficult it is and I'm just sad.
"Toni Adams was a great friend of mine. I was so sad when she died. I'm so lucky to be able to write a book about my experiences. Hopefully someone will be able to learn something from it. I talk about my life in the industry, cool stuff behind the scenes, angles. I was around WWE when I was with Steve. I didn't work there, but I was with him when he was getting started. I have some cool stories, it's not all just doom and gloom about addiction. I'm extremely proud of this book, I think it's one of the best thing I ever did."
Did you talk to Steve about the book?
"Steve knows about the book, but I haven't spoken to him personally about the book. It's an autobiography, he's a big part of my life. He's the father to my three children, because he adopted Jade. The effects of what happened in the marriage are in the book, but it's not designed to hurt anyone. It's an honest account of my life, so if I left that out, it wouldn't be showing how or why I became an addict."
The timing of this book's release is just as we saw Prince pass away, and also Chyna.
"I have a story in my book. I actually was at my house after my divorce, and I had a nanny. My daughters were very young, and nobody could wake me up. Ambulances and three firefighters actually showed up on the scene, and I was just about dead. Ambien and Xanax, the same drugs Chyna died on. They're so addictive, you have withdrawals as soon as you wake up. I know what it's like to be on those pills, you can't really get off without professional help. It's so sad, Toni, Chyna, women in the industry that have died."
All of these celebrities and people in entertainment, it seems like prescription pills are the big problem.
"If you've got the money, you can get them anyway. I was an addict, very manipulative in sourcing my pills. You can't cope with withdrawals. It's not as easy in the UK, because it's socialized medicine, but you can still find a way. There's always doctors that if you give them money, they give you the pills. When I was in rehab, Ambien and Valium can take longer to detox from than heroin."
When you decided to get clean, did you have any setbacks?
"No, the thing is, the two years prior to rehab I was getting into trouble. I went to jail because of drug addiction. I'm very honest and it's beautiful to talk about. Nothing could make me stop. You've got to hit rock bottom. I started using harder drugs. I opened my door and told my daughters I was a drug addict and I needed help. That was the beginning of getting better. A drug addict like myself tends to say 'no, I'm okay.' But you know you're taking more and more. That's the way it is because of your tolerance. Stronger meds. There's really only three solutions – mental hospital or rehab, jail, or you die. When I held my hands up and told my daughters, it hurt me but I needed help. There were a lot of tears, but they picked the phone up and the next day I was picked up for rehab and haven't touched a pill since in three years.
"It took me over a year to write the book, it's not easy. I'm very proud of my book. It's a shoot all the way through. That includes my own mistakes as well. I told my ghost writer Bradley that, too. He would question me and say 'I don't know how that flows to that' and I said I didn't really want to talk about that. He said 'you've got to be brave,' and he got a lot out of me. Steve knows, Stephanie and Cassie know, I've told everybody my story. I'm just a person that did survive the odds of terrible addiction and I'm here to tell the story. I think it could be quite helpful. Kevin Von Erich wrote me a five page foreword, and I've had a lot of support from the industry. As an addict you have so many secrets, and you make excuses to go out and you know you're just going to get more supplies. It's good to get that out."
Congratulations on being three years sober, and the book. How can fans get the book?
"It's out on Amazon, that's the best way to get it. I have had people who want signed copies, and I've done that through an e-mail for The Shattered Glass. If they write me I'll do that and tell them I'll sign it. Other than that, it's on Amazon."
Click here for part one of the interview, where Jeanie talked about getting her start in pro wrestling, working with ex-boyfriend Chris Adams in World Class Championship Wrestling, signing with WCW, working with Chris Adams and Steve Austin and more.. You can also purchase her new book, Through the Shattered Glass, at this link. You can check out a synopsis for the book below:
Jeanie's book covers her entire life story, from her tough early life, to her breakout mainstream celebrity as a member of Joint Promotions (the national promotion of the UK scene in the 1970s and '80s), where she managed the career of her then-boyfriend Chris Adams.
Her autobiography follows her relocation to the United States, where Jeanie became a mother. It reveals details of her modelling career and the end of her relationship with Chris, leading to the unique circumstances which led to her first marriage with Billy Jack Haynes.
Thereafter, Jeanie became a business entrepreneur, before being offered the role of a manager to an unknown rookie named 'Stunning' Steve Austin.
Their friendship bloomed into a romance, and they were married. However, with fame came the temptations of a touring performer, which slowly tore apart their family. Everyone knows the story of how the name 'Stone Cold' came to be, however, this account reveals, for the first time, the truth behind the Austin 3:16 brand. It analyses the painful torment on both sides as their marriage dissolved.
The story culminates in her private war with addiction, a problem that claimed the lives of so many of her friends and colleagues within the wrestling and mainstream entertainment industries. It is an inspirational battle of which Jeanie still faces the consequences.
She now hopes to share her battle to help others facing the same horror.
Tragically, her powerful story has been made more relevant in light of recent events.
Her autobiography, Through the Shattered Glass, [is] available worldwide on Amazon, Kindle and several major outlets. Similarly, personalized and autographed copies are available for purchase at the same retail price of $24.99 (£16.99 UK) through orders made directly by emailing [email protected].