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Maxx Crosby opens up to ESPN about battle with alcohol, drugs — VIDEO

Updated October 10, 2022 - 7:11 pm

In an interview with ESPN’s Michelle Beisner-Buck, Raiders star defensive end Maxx Crosby and his fiancee opened up about Crosby’s struggles with alcohol and drug addiction and the positive path they have forged since Crosby decided to finally get help.

The interview ran on “Monday Night Countdown” on ESPN before the Raiders’ game against the Chiefs and coincides with World Mental Health Day.

Crosby and his fiancee, Rachel Washburn, describe the out-of-control lifestyle he led going back to their days at Eastern Michigan, where they met and began dating, to his rookie season with the Raiders when outwardly he broke out as a great young player but inwardly was dealing with the demons of addiction.

Then came his life-changing decision to get help and the sobriety that has helped him become one of the NFL’s most feared and highest-paid pass rushers.

“I was so thankful that he was so willing to share, in great detail, his rise and fall and then his road to recovery,” Beisner-Buck said. “He was completely open. He was completely raw and real about the life that he lived and this journey that he’s been on.”

Of his rookie season, Crosby described the double life he was living.

“I was doing well to the outside world. I was runner-up to the rookie of the year. Everyone’s like, Maxx is killing it. But I was like wild as …,” Crosby told Beisner-Buck. “I was drinking. I was smoking. I was doing coke here or there. I was off the wall. I’d take a pill. I didn’t even know what it was. It was scary.”

Washburn, expecting the couple’s first child any day now, could not get through to Crosby or anyone else about the troubled and dangerous path he was on, one that resulted in him disappearing for days while on partying binges.

“I feel like I was screaming down a dark hallway and everyone was like … figure it out,” Washburn said.

Said Crosby: “I put her through hell, and nobody knew, like, the extent. Nobody even believed her. That’s such a sad, lonely feeling. That still hurts me to this day.”

The tipping point came in 2020 when Crosby woke up in bed in a pool of sweat in his Las Vegas-area home after prolonged partying. The hopeless feeling was overwhelming, but so, too, was the understanding it was time to get help.

With the assistance of Washburn, his agent and the Raiders, Crosby checked into rehab March 11, 2020.

“It was the first time I really stood up for myself,” Crosby said. “I didn’t give a damn about what anyone said. I’m going into rehab. I have problems.”

Crosby, 25, has been sober since. It’s a daily battle, he said, but it has put him on a path he could have only dreamed about a few years ago.

His willingness to share his story has inspired people going through similar situations. Beisner-Buck hopes Monday’s interview can help even more people.

“I just hope that people understand that it’s OK, there’s frailty in humanity,” she said. “We all deal with things, And you’re not alone, and there are people you can resource, and you can go to try to start anew. And it’s not too late to do that.”

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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