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Rick Springfield addresses 'sex addict' reports, once attempted suicide

10/12/2010 by Corinne Heller

Rick Springfield appears on ABC's 'Good Morning America'. (Photo courtesy of ABC) Rick Springfield, best known for his 1981 rock hit "Jessie's Girl", once treated sex like a drug addiction and was at one point so depressed that he tried to commit suicide.

Springfield, 61 made his comments on ABC's Good Morning America to promote his new book Late, Late At Night. The title is a lyric from the song.

When asked about reports of being a "sex addict," Springfield said that sex "calmed a lot of things in me," adding: "It's something that I did because it made me feel better about myself. If this person is willing to have sex with me, than she must think I'm okay. It became, like any drug, a habit. Once I took enough time off to be away from it and got out of the habit of it, it was much easier not to do it."

Springfield, an Australian native who starred in General Hospital, dated Linda Blair of the horror film The Exorcist in the 1970s and married Barbara Porter in 1984. He was not always faithful.

"My wife is the most amazing person in the world," he said. "I hope that the book reads like a love story eventually. Our relationship is great. We've been through a lot. I wanted people to know how we did it. You just don't walk away. We both know we're better together than we are apart. We meet the stuff head on."

Springfield struggled with money before he became a successful music artist who sold about 20 million albums and before he landed his gig on General Hospital as Dr. Noah Drake, which he played between 1981 and 1983 and later again between 2005 and 2007 and also in 2008. In fact, his initial paycheck on the soap opera was $500 a week, he said.

Springfield has often struggled with depression. When Springfield was 17, he tried to commit suicide. He tied a noose around a rafter, stood on a chair and kicked the piece of furniture away. But the rope snapped and he fell to the floor. He survived.

"Until 'Jessie's Girl' and all the success that the records and acting and everything brought, I was just a moody artist," Springfield said. "I thought, 'I'm a writer, I'm moody, I get down, I get dark.' Once I achieved a lot of what I thought I wanted to achieve ... it hit me. Depression came roaring back and I realized what I thought would heal me - success and all your dreams coming true, doesn't heal you."

He said that he's undergone therapy and meditates. He also addressed a recent string of teen suicides, spurred by bullying, that have made headlines.

"I really would love to say to kids on the edge, 'I know what it's like,'" Springfield said. "You just want out. You want the pain to stop. Give yourself a year because your life will change. Nothing remains the same. I would have missed out on a lot of amazing stuff in my life."

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