Elizabeth Vargas Returns To TV Post-Rehab Stint; Says On 'Good Morning America' That 'She Is An Alcoholic'

on January 25 2014 9:43 PM
Elizabeth Vargas (L) and Bob Woodruff
Elizabeth Vargas (L) and Bob Woodruff, co-anchors of ABC's "World News Tonight", answer questions during the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif.Jan.21, 2006. Reuters/Chris Pizzello

Elizabeth Vargas, ABC News anchor, admitted in a recent interview that she is an alcoholic and that it took her a long time to admit it.

The 51-year-old journalist returned to TV after her latest rehab stint for alcoholism. Vargas told “Good Morning America” co-star George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired on Friday, originally taped on Thursday, that she has always been in “denial” about her fight with alcoholism.

“I am. I am an alcoholic,” Vargas reportedly said. “It took me a long time to admit that to myself. It took me a long time to admit it to my family, but I am. The amount of energy I expended keeping that secret and keeping this problem hidden from view was exhausting.”

Vargas reportedly explained that wine was her “go-to” drink. “I started thinking ‘Well, you know, I’ll only drink, you know, on weekend,’” she said.  “I'll only drink, you know, two glasses of wine a night. I won't drink on nights before I have to get up and do ‘Good Morning America.’ But those deals never work.”

According to reports, Vargas said her favorite choice was wine. She also called her drinking session as a “ritual,” adding: “I should’ve realized it was a problem way back when Zachary, my oldest son, was born. And he used to call my nightly glass of wine ‘mommy’s juice.’ You know, and I thought that was hysterical. It didn’t occur to me that that was a problem.”

Vargas reportedly said that her husband, Marc Cohn, previously told her to seek treatment “‘You have a problem. You’re an alcoholic’ It made me really angry, really angry. But he was right.”

She finally checked into a rehab in November, when she realized, during a “20/20” shoot that she was “in no shape to do that interview.”