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'For God’s sake, take it easy': Jason Donovan on cocaine, addiction, and Johnny Depp's advice

The ‘Neighbours’ star was attending Kate Moss’ 21st birthday party in 1995 when the incident happened
UPDATED JUN 15, 2022
Jason Donovan claims Johnny Depp advised him after his cocaine-induced seizure (Getty Images/ Sam Tabone and Andreas Rentz)
Jason Donovan claims Johnny Depp advised him after his cocaine-induced seizure (Getty Images/ Sam Tabone and Andreas Rentz)

Australian actor Jason Donovan has spoken about the time when Johnny Depp advised him against drug use after he suffered a seizure due to cocaine overdose. The ‘Neighbours’ star was attending Kate Moss’ 21st birthday party in 1995 when the incident happened. Depp had thrown that party as he and Moss were dating at the time.

The birthday bash was also reportedly attended by Christy Turlington, Michael Hutchence, Thelma Houston, Helena Christensen, and John Galliano at The Viper Room in LA. As per reports, as the party was going on, Donovan frequently took cocaine at his nearby hotel room before realizing he was losing control of his body.


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Kate Moss attends the Burberry A/W 2023 Womenswear Collection Presentation on March 11, 2022, in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

In his memoir ‘Between the Lines: My Story Uncut’, the 54-year-old noted: “By the time midnight came the entire party had hit the dance floor. Gloria Gaynor had just finished singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Kate when Johnny (Depp) and Michael (Hutchence) took to the stage.”

Jason Donovan performs songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat onstage during the Platinum Party at the Palace in front of Buckingham Palace on June 04, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

He went on to explain, “With Johnny on guitar, Michael started to sing the Van Morrison classic Gloria. The pair were halfway through the song belting out the chorus, when I realised I was about to go. I knew the symptoms all too well for it was not the first time this had happened to me. My heart was racing, my vision was blurring, and I was becoming disorientated. ‘This is it,’ I thought, as I started to convulse, ‘this is bloody it, I’m having another seizure’ – and with that my legs buckled under me and I fell to the floor.”

Donovan also wrote: “A crowd had circled round me and Michael [Hutchence] was standing over me trying to empty my trouser pockets. ‘Have you got anything on you?’ he kept asking me. I tried to speak but couldn't. ‘It wouldn't be cool if anything was found on you by the medics,’ he whispered.”

Jason Donovan attends the Winter Wonderland VIP launch night at Hyde Park on November 16, 2017, in London, England. (Photo by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images)

‘The Last Bullet’ star was then transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital where he received treatment before getting himself discharged a few hours later. But he was embarrassed by what happened at the party. Donovan said, “I was so ashamed about what had happened, so racked with guilt that I had ruined Kate’s party that I knew I had to go and apologise to her. She and Johnny were holding an after-party at my hotel and when I discovered they were still up I knocked on their door. Johnny answered it.”

The singer mentioned in his 2007 book after he told ‘The Rum Diary’ star, “I’m really sorry about what happened, mate,” Depp reportedly said to him: “That’s cool, don’t worry. We’re just pleased that you are okay. Now take some advice from me: go to your room, get some sleep and for God’s sake, take it easy in future.”

Johnny Depp walks the red carpet ahead of the "Waiting For The Barbarians" screening during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 06, 2019, in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

After the exchange, Donovan went back to his room as he added in the memoir, “I headed back to my room, tail between my legs. I had made an utter fool of myself. I’d tried to party with the big boys, tried to be so very rock and roll, but all I had done was make a complete fucking idiot of myself.”

Jason Donovan attends the Winter Wonderland VIP opening at Hyde Park on November 20, 2014, in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Donovan spent years while dealing with his drug issues before getting sober eventually. In 2020, he stated: “The good news is now I know what I don't want to do! You learn so much from those times. I'll tell you straight, I would rather not have experience what I have. Do I regret it? Not really. Am I proud of it? Not at all. I was just one of the lucky ones who got out.”