Andrew Gillum speaks out on Miami hotel room incident

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 1:50 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Former Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum is speaking out about the incident that derailed his political career.

In March, he was found in a Miami Beach hotel room where a man apparently overdosed on meth. Three small baggies of what police believed was crystal meth were in plain sight on both the bed and floor of the hotel room, according to police reports and pictures.

According to the report, officers tried to speak to Gillum, but Gillum was too drunk to communicate with them.

During a sit down interview on the Tamron Hall Show, which aired nationwide Monday, Gillum said he "has cried every day” since the incident. Gillum was photographed naked on the bathroom floor with a pillow and sheets soiled with body fluids. He told Hall he didn’t recognize himself in the photo “literally lying in my own vomit.”

Gillum was not charged with any crime. He stepped away from public life, went into rehab and issued an apology.

“Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse. I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism and I know the damaging effects it can have when untreated. I also know that alcoholism is often a symptom of deeper struggles. I am committed to doing the personal work to heal fully and show up in the world as a more complete person,” Gillum wrote in the statement shortly after the incident.

His sit down with Hall, alongside his wife R. Jai, was his first interview since the incident.

Gillum also revealed to Hall, “I identify as bisexual. I’ve never shared that publicly before.”

“So many people just don’t understand bisexuality. Bisexuality is just something different. I just believe that love and sexuality exist on a spectrum. All I care about is what’s between us and what agreement we make,” R. Jai Gillum told Hall.

The National Black Justice Coalition released a statement regarding Gillum’s interview on the Tamron Hall show.

“Gillum’s reflections demonstrate that there must be space in our country for people to be themselves without shame and fear. When we are forced by harmful societal expectations to operate in black and white, with no room to express the many gray areas of ourselves that make us who we are, we get hurt,” Executive Director David Johns said. “As the United States continues with our long overdue racial reckoning, it’s imperative that we also address the deep seated homophobia, biphobia, bierasure, and transphobia that permeates our everyday lives, forcing countless people to hide essential parts of themselves at a great cost to themselves—and to our cultural consciousness at large.”

Gillum was the first black nominee in a major political party to run for governor in Florida. After a surprising victory in the democratic primary, he lost narrowly to Republican Ron DeSantis in the 2018 election.

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