Debbie Phelps blames herself for son Michael’s pot-smoking


2008’s Mother of Year Debbie Phelps has written a book about her Olympian son Michael and the struggles they’re gone through as a family. Star Magazine has excerpts from A Mother for All Seasons, and Debbie dishes on how she really felt about Michael’s bong-smoking and his 2004 DUI.

Some people totally disagreed, but I really thought the bong-smoking picture wasn’t a big deal. Sure, it would have been great if all of our athletic idols were all squeaky-clean, but I think Phelps handled himself with grace after the scandal, taking full responsibility. Now Debbie is taking responsibility too, writing that she didn’t blame Michael, “I was sure that I could have done something to better prepare Michael to make better choices.” Aw, poor Debbie. It’s not your fault. It’s not even that big of a deal.

Michael Phelps has had a lot of ups and downs — and his mom has been there for them all. Now, in a new book she opens up about their family’s struggles and golden moments. The collapse of their family, the Olympics and Michael’s drug bust — Star has an exclusive first look!

In A Mother for All Seasons, Debbie Phelps speaks out for the first time about her shock at seeing the human side of her golden boy, when Star released pictures of Michael Phelps smoking a bong in January, Debbie was “not happy” about his “disappointing, uncharacteristic behavior,” she writes.

But the bust was also “déjà vu all over again.” Michael’s 2004 DUI arrest had been her first major disappointment as a mom. “Nothing like this had ever happened with him,” Debbie writes. “It was unreal — like something out of a horror movie — with TV clips of jail cell doors slamming ominously shut, dooming the life and career of one golden boy turned loser.”

But, Debbie says, she never blamed Michael — only herself. “I was sure that I could have done something to better prepare Michael to make better choices.”

And after the details of the incident emerged, she says, she had more understanding. “He actually had tried to get someone else to drive after he had a few drinks,” Debbie reveals.

“Apparently someone in the crowd made a crack about not giving the keys to his brand-new Range Rover to someone else.” In the end, however, the details didn’t matter.

“Michael was clearly mortified.” And Debbie had to take a week off of work. “I stayed out of sight, hibernating at a friend’s house, crying my eyes out.” For more on his DUI and pot bust, as well as the truth behind their family’s split and happier moments at the Olympics, check out next week’s Star!

[From Star Magazine]

The DUI bothered me a lot more – there is absolutely no reason to drink and drive. Hopefully, Michael learned his lesson about that one. Perhaps he did, and he switched from alcohol to pot.

In the long-term wake on the bong-smoking scandal, not much happened to Phelps. He lost his Kellogs endorsement, but most of his other deals stayed put. He was temporarily suspended from any swim meets for a few months – no big deal, because the big matches aren’t for another year. All in all, I hope this is something that Debbie and Michael will be able to laugh about one day.

Michael Phelps

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14 Responses to “Debbie Phelps blames herself for son Michael’s pot-smoking”

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  1. lisa says:

    We all make mistakes when we are young and our judgement isn’t at its peak although the DUI really bugs me since he put other people’s lives in danger, not just his. The true test will be if he can move on from here and prove he is a maturing, responsible adult. I would hate to see him throw away such talent and promise.

  2. Vibius says:

    Im more disappointed in his DUI then his use of a drug that 2 (probably more) recent US President have used.

  3. Trillion says:

    Please let this brouhaha end. It’s just pot. He’s already proven to the world that you can accomplish great feats and have a bong hit once in a while. (agree with previous poster that the DUI is something to worry about much more so)

  4. Trillion says:

    Somebody ought to build a Micheal Phelps Bong, where his up-reaching arm is the neck and his crazy weird mouth is the bowl.

  5. lisa says:

    OMG Trillion, I got a good laugh out of that one. I went visual. LOL

  6. C-DUB says:

    That Bong would be huge!!!! Just think of all the smoke that would fill up in his arms alone!!! LOL!!!

  7. LeSigh says:

    “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!”
    George Washington – Former President

  8. Jag says:

    The only reason that hemp isn’t legal in the US is because our “forefathers” didn’t want the competition from it. It grows quickly and doesn’t take much to farm it – and it has endless uses, from snack food to paper. If they hadn’t been so money-grubbing, we’d have a very different world today. Hemp won’t get you high, but since it looks like pot plants, one can understand a little of why law enforcement doesn’t want it legal.

    Phelps smoking pot at a party is definitely not as concerning as him driving drunk.

  9. Charley Kane says:

    Pot should be legal – imprisoning people for pot possession is like imprisoning them for having a six pack in the car, it’s stoopid.

  10. RobN says:

    Maybe she ought to stop treating him like a little boy and expect him to act like a man. He makes poor choices and it’s all about her. Weird.

  11. manda says:

    Am I the only one irritated at the way hiw smoking weed out of a bong is relayed? He didn’t smoke a bong. He smoked out of a bong. He used a bong to smoke. A bong is not smokeable, weed is. Weed goes into a bong. This has been bugging me for weeks now. Is it a west coast thing? Because the only people I have ever heard say it that way (he smoked a bong) are people whose native language is not english.

  12. manda says:

    wow–don’t know what I was trying to say with “hiw”! Must not leave comments whilst talking on the phone!

  13. daisy424 says:

    Not his Mother’s fault unless she got him hooked.

    He is an adult and makes his own decisions.

    That said, what alarms me is the comments above regarding his DUI.

    What makes any of you think that driving while intoxicated on booze is any worse than driving while high on pot?

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