That title doesn’t capture the full quote that Bon Jovi recently gave about his 19 year-old daughter Stephanie’s heroin overdose, while she was away at college last fall. (Stephanie had recovered by the time it was news and in fact she told her dad about it.) He said “she was by no means sticking needles in her arms,” which is essentially the same thing. (We only have so much room for titles.) This wasn’t the first time Bon Jovi has spoken about Stephanie’s OD. In December, a few weeks after her overdose, he said that he was shocked that his daughter was doing drugs, but that “hopefully, we caught it when we did and that’s the end of it.”
In this new interview, with UK’s Daily Mirror, Bon Jovi reveals more personal details about how he found out about his daughter’s OD. I was impressed with how candid and humble he was about it. He’s currently on tour with his band in Europe:
On learning of his daughter’s OD
First she calmly insisted: “I’m all right”, but any relief was short-lived as she went on to tell her devastated rocker dad she had overdosed on heroin.
“It was horrible, a horrible moment,” he says. “It was my worst moment as a father.
“The first thing she said, I’m all right but then she said this is what happened. You wake up, you shake it off and put your shoes on and say OK, I am on the way home.”
Police were called in November to 19-year-old Stephanie’s dorm at her university, Hamilton College, and found her unconscious. A small amount of heroin was found in her room at the $55,000-a-year liberal arts institution in Kirkland, New York.
She recovered in hospital and later charges against her and companion Ian Grant, 21, were dropped due to a local law that prohibits prosecution of people who have had a drugs overdose.
On coming to terms with his daughter’s drug use
“We went through something that a lot of parents do, many more than I thought. Many more people who have been in my life that I had no idea they had been through it with their own children at one point or another.
“There’s a lot of pressure on this generation. They have a lot easier access to things than yours or my generation had.
“She was by no means sticking needles in her arms. But there’s a lot of synthetic stuff in the world and a lot of temptation and access and pressures that just a generation ago you and I didn’t know about.
“I wasn’t aware of it, not because I’m not home but because it is a different world. Our world is far more relatable to our parents’ world than the kids’ world.
“There’s many more pressures on kids – what is this college degree going to do for me, what am I going to be when I grow up, will I be able to accomplish things?
“I feel it was a terrible tragic lesson of life but I thank God every day because she is whole. It happened and it has gone. I know personally people whose sons and daughters, where it was a lot, lot worse. That could have been Stephanie.”
On staying faithful to his wife of 24 years
“I have a wife who I adore, without her the cards would crumble. Every day there’s temptation. I don’t go looking for it either. Am I perfect? No. But do I aspire to finding a mistress somewhere? I really don’t.”
On still playing his hit songs
“I still enjoy playing Living On A Prayer immensely. You can’t not play Wanted or Prayer or Bad Name every night. Both for you and for that audience, they want to hear it. They are bigger than the band.”
Isn’t that nice how he’s so mellow about playing their hit songs and how he knows it’s all about their fans? He also sounds like a great husband and father, and someone who is there for his family. Jon and his wife, Dorothea Hurley, have four kids and have been together since 1989. They have daughter Stephanie and three younger boys: Jesse, 18, Jacob, 11, and Romeo, 9. The more I hear from Jon the more he seems like a total standup guy. It sounds like his daughter is going to be ok, fingers crossed.
Jon and his wife are shown above at the Golden Globes this year. He’s shown with his wife and daughter in the header image in 2010 and with his family in August, 2011. Credit: WENN, PRPhotos