Cara Delevingne Calls Out Industry for Magnifying Mental Health Struggles

9 March 2023

Cara Delevingne is ready to talk about those viral paparazzi photos in the wake of her newfound sobriety.

The “Paper Towns” actress and supermodel reflected on working since 2011 in both Hollywood and the fashion industry. “If you have problems going into this industry, they will only get magnified and exacerbated,” Delevingne said in a Vogue cover story. “There is nothing about it that makes it better.”

The British actress continued, “In a way, a lot of people have looked at my childhood or my family and thought, ‘She’s spoiled, there’s nepotism, she grew up extremely privileged,’ which I did, don’t get me wrong. But life wasn’t all that easy for other reasons.”

Delevingne detailed the at times “shallow relationships” wrought in Hollywood and shared with Vogue that she lost out on a brand that once promoted her as a mental health advocate as she began to personally struggle with her own well-being in the midst of quarantine lockdown and a “complete existential crisis.”

“I have so many friends. They ride for me and I love my friends so much, but it felt like a lot of the time, they were shallow relationships only because I wasn’t able to be honest about the things I was going through. I didn’t want to burden anyone,” Delevingne said. “It was also like, ‘What if people leave?’ If you ask any of my friends, they would say they’d never seen me cry. From September, I just needed support. I needed to start reaching out. And my old friends I’ve known since I was 13, they all came over and we started crying. They looked at me and said, ‘You deserve a chance to have joy.’’”

Delevingne was at the center of viral paparazzi photos leaving the Van Nuys airport in September 2022, with “Suicide Squad” co-star and longtime friend Margot Robbie seen comforting her.

“I hadn’t slept. I was not OK,” Delevingne said of that time. “It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, ‘OK, I don’t look well. You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.”

The “Carnival Row” actress recalled of the COVID era, “All my sense of belonging, all my validation — my identity, everything — was so wrapped up in work. And when that was gone, I felt like I had no purpose. I just wasn’t worth anything without work, and that was scary. Instead of taking the time to really learn something new or do something new, I got very wrapped up in misery, wallowing, and partying. It was a really sad time.”

The “Planet Sex” docuseries star added, “There was this need for change, but I was fighting it so much. I was welcoming in this new time but I was also grieving. It was like a funeral for my previous life, a goodbye to an era. And so I decided I was going to party as hard as I could because this was the end…There’s an element of feeling invincible when I’m on drugs. I put myself in danger in those moments because I don’t care about my life. I would climb anything and jump off stuff…it felt feral. It’s a scary thing to the people around you who love you.”

Delevingne was supported by her “Only Murders in the Building” co-star Selena Gomez, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, fashion designer Stella McCartney, and Robbie as she entered a 12-step program.

“This process obviously has its ups and downs, but I’ve started realizing so much. People want my story to be this after-school special where I just say, ‘Oh look, I was an addict, and now I’m sober and that’s it.’ And it’s not as simple as that. It doesn’t happen overnight,” Delevingne summed up. “Of course I want things to be instant — I think this generation especially, we want things to happen quickly — but I’ve had to dig deeper.”

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