Published October 06, 2008
The ex-wife of "Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff is spilling more of the beans about her former husband's wild drinking, likening his "disease" to cancer and claiming it destroyed their marriage.
Pamela Bach — who has dropped the actor's last name since the couple's messy divorce battle — tells London's Daily Mail that though she loves Hasselhoff, her ex's severe alcoholism wound up exhausting her after years of trying to cover for him.
"We were both living a lie but the biggest tragedy was that David loved the bottle more than me," Bach told the Mail.
In one June 2002 incident, when Bach said she thought her husband was at the Betty Ford rehab clinic for treatment, he shocked her with an intoxicated call from a hotel room.
The "Knight Rider" actor was apparently lying inebriated in front of an empty hotel minibar, but was somehow able to dial the number and send out a cry for help.
"I'm drunk and I think I'm dying," Bach told the Mail he said, before the phone went dead.
Bach says her heart sank.
"After years of drinking, he’d finally admitted he had a problem and had agreed to go into rehab," she remembered. "It had all been such a huge relief. But then I got that phone call."
She learned from the clinic that Hasselhoff had checked himself out and says she went to every local hospital to try to find him — until she did.
Later, she told the British newspaper, Bach learned her husband had consumed everything in the minibar before a maid found him slumped on the floor semi-conscious and partly naked. Police were called. Bach says she and Hasselhoff's team of handlers covered up the incident to protect his reputation — like so many times before.
"Had news leaked out, it would have destroyed the image he created for himself and the image I created for my friends and family," Bach told the Mail.
But in recent months, the details of the 80s star's battle with alcoholism have leaked out. Last year, a video was released of an extremely drunk Hasselhoff lying on the floor trying to eat a hamburger while one of his daughter's asks him if he's going to get help for his addiction.
Bach has been demonized as an opportunist who is seeking the actor's roughly $50 million fortune — an allegation she vehemently denies.
"I don’t want this to be an attack on David. I love him. I always have," she told the Mail. "He’s a good man. He’s tried desperately hard to get sober. But he’s an alcoholic. He has a disease, just like cancer. And just like cancer, it ate away at our family from the inside."