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Elizabeth Vargas: Return to Rehab and Divorce

    August 22, 2014
    Kimberly Ripley
    Comments are off for this post.

Elizabeth Vargas not only returned to rehab this past week, she and her husband Marc Cohn have decided to get a divorce as well. The 20/20 anchor and Good Morning America news reporter is seeking treatment for alcohol addiction. It was Marc Cohn who urged Vargas to go to rehab the first time around.

“You have a problem. You’re an alcoholic,” the ‘Walking in Memphis’ songwriter told his wife.

“It made me really angry, really angry. But he was right,” Elizabeth Vargas said following her first stint in a rehab facility.

Elizabeth Vargas issued a statement last weekend about her decision to return to rehab.

“While on vacation this weekend, I decided to return to a recovery center. As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process. I feel I have let myself, my co-workers and most importantly my family down, and for that I am ashamed and sorry,” she said. “I am committed to battling and addressing this debilitating disease and want to thank everyone who has offered their unwavering support during this trying time.”

Elizabeth Vargas and Marc Cohn married on July 20, 2002 after dating for three years. They have two children. Zachary is eleven and Samuel is eight. Marc Cohn released a statement addressing the couple’s decision to divorce and the support he has pledged to her regardless of their marital status.

“On behalf of Elizabeth’s family,” Cohn said. ”we are in total support of her recovery and want her to be well.”

Hopefully Marc Cohn’s support of Elizabeth Vargas will make her time away as well as their divorce a bit easier for their two boys. When life hands kids a double whammy like these kids have just received, they need all the love and support they can get.


  • James

    Ms .Vargas is suffering from emotional illness which is a Co- Factor of Anxiety and depression, substance abuse delays the pain and so does medication, sadly there is no cure for this she will have good and bad days the rest of her life. Alcohol and wine thens to aggravate the Problem because there is never enough. She needs constant support which her husband can not provide, and to be away from that star system.

    • Colene

      I didn’t know you are her doctor? Stay out of comments.

      • Inna

        I appreciated James’ comment, it is you that is out of line Colene!

      • cameo4352

        @Colene …….WHY the hell do YOU CARE !! You a LIBERAL PUKE or something ??

    • James

      Colene I might be a Doctor or not, but I have spent 40 years and believe me I know what I am talking about, a person who does not have Anxiety and Depression can get addicted to substances , but Rehab is much easier and they do not have the condition of anxiety with Ms. Vargas Panic the worst type of anxiety which compared with depression. Is not a curable but a manageable condition, Ms. Vargas has a great life ahead but she is going to have to get out of her comfort Zone. She is one dynamic healthy person who dealing with mental and Sa but has no history of severe psychiatric disability. she has a great future, but has to step back and work on other options.

      • Mark

        James…”spent 40 years”, doing what? Your ramblings would suggest that you don’t know what you’re “talking about’!

        • James

          yea Mark I am rambling on and on but let me say one thing before you make your comments I have been studying for many years the effects on when Y-Aminobutyric Acid or Gamma- Aminobutyric Acid when it goes through the Brain Blood Barrier and it’s effect on Panic, Seizures, Depression and substance abuse from a therapeutic Model and it’s destructive effects. Mark have a nice day

  • Mark Mills

    now women will rush to feel sorry for her and throw a pity party.

    • Iva Dusty Attick

      Not me, I’m on Cohn’s side in this. I grew up with an alcoholic mother, and the worse decision my father ever made was not divorcing her sooner. I suffered ten more years of misery with her living under our roof, and when I was 19 and he finally came to his senses and kicked her out I threw a party. Those kids will be far better off, trust me.

      • Inna

        Not all people are alike and and from my experience I can tell that Cohn wasn’t a very supportive husband either.

      • Lilarose Davis

        Dear Lord! I grew up with a drunk for a father, too. But my parents were from the Greatest Generation and divorce was not an option. We all survived.

        • Jane

          Same here. I wished it had been different, but that’s the way it was in those days. Women met their husbands at the door with a cocktail and all get together’s involved booze in mass quantities. Then Valium became “mother’s little helper.” People didn’t recognize the addictive properties (like cigarettes in that same generation) and that some people may have a tendency to self-medicate or overuse. This generation is more open to talking about what is going on with their families, and for all of their sake’s, I hope it’s true here. Addiction is a mother.

      • jennifer esper

        iva dusty attick u r an asshole.
        I’m sure your life is perfect. SHAME ON YOU.

      • jz

        How do you know if Miss Vargas is the the same as your mom was other than both being alcoholics? Your last sentence is way to judgemental given the fact you don’t know these people at all.

  • John Redcorn

    If I had too cover the crap of killings war murders etc etc I would have my mouth wrapped around a bottle too..I dont know how these journalists do there job without the use of some kind of drug..It is major depression!!!

    • Lilarose Davis

      John, please don’t use “too” like you did. Two is a number, too means also, like I am going to the store with Joe, too (also). Everything else is “to.”

      • bigbandbob

        Lilarose – Sorry, but John’s use of “too” is correct. (So is your explanation.)

        • Jane

          Yeah, WTH Lilarose! Why didn’t you call him on his use of “there” versus “their”?

      • Angie D

        I’m going to have to go with Lilarose. If the sentence had been: “If I, too, had to cover the crap…” then the use of “too” would have been correct. However, the way he used it was incorrect.

  • brian t.

    godspeed elizabeth

  • ronald

    what ever happened to ” For better or worse” and ” till death do us part”. There is very little loyalty any more. When the going gets rough the ones that hadn’t really committed to the relationship skip out. Hell of a time to leave someone….. when they are at their worst and need lots of support. I know about this very well. I am an ex-convict, a lifelong gangster and thief. My wife stood by me even when it got bad. I finally got myself straightened out and we do fine now….. thanks to her and her support

    • Torrance

      I agree, Ronald. I cannot stand when a spouse will divorce the otherile the others in an obvious crisis. So the spouse will get treated, then have no husband or wife to go home to. Ludicrous.

      • Torrance

        And kudos to you for your wife sticking by you. I’m sure she is proud of all of your achievements. God’s speed to you and your family, Ronald.

    • Diane

      However, consider that he might be part of the problem, and his leaving might actually become part of her solution to her problem! There have been reports alleging that he has been unfaithful- even before her first stay in rehab.- so perhaps the divorce will be doing BOTH of them a favor, for very different reasons, of course. Some people are just toxic to each other, and sometimes it just takes a while to make that realization!

      • Iva Dusty Attick

        She cheated with him when he was married to his first wife, so what goes around comes around…women who cheat and then think it won’t happen to therm are imbeciles.

        • Diane

          I didn’t know that about them! Sounds as if this has probably been an unhealthy union since it started, and now it’s just spiraling out-of-control. IMO, they both need help, and the children should probably receive some type of counseling, also. Such a shame for all.

      • Inna

        I feel the same way, that she needs to be free of him on her road to recovery. Most likely he has been part of the problem.

      • Lilarose Davis

        Too bad that toxicity wasn’t noticed by them before the pregnancies.

    • Iva Dusty Attick

      Sorry, but she breaks those vows every time she chooses booze over her husband and kids. He’s given her enough chances, and the children will be better off living apart from her. Divorce in such an extreme circumstance is the best thing for the children, so it’s an unselfish act on Cohn’s part in my opinion.

      • Mark

        “chooses booze”??? Alcoholism is a form of mental illness, and renders a person unable to “choose”. If it was as easy as making a choice, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation! Think about that for a while.

        • Angie D

          Actually, she CHOSE to go to rehab twice. It is a choice. Why do you think the motto of AA is “One day at a time?” You have to decide everyday not to drink or to take that drink. I’m not saying that it’s not a disease or that it’s not difficult, but you do have a choice. I don’t know if divorce is better for them or for the children or a bad decision altogether. I wish them well.

          • Mark

            Angie…I’m well aware of the moto. I’ve been going to meetings for more than 20 years, but my daily decision is not about drinking. It’s about deciding to live to good purpose. Live in the problem, or live in the solution. That’s what sobriety is all about!

        • James

          Mark:Alcohol is not a Mental Illness it is a Co-Factor of Mental Illness, with your logic Food is a physical Illness, because it causes Obesity, HBP and other major health condition, then living in NYC is a illness because of Pollution, stress and other factors which effect Health.

          • Mark

            James…judging from your comments you have no practical experience, and therefore can only offer an opinion. An opinion equates to zero credibility. Try some education, instead of spouting some nonsense about living in NYC!

      • jz

        Way to oversimplify a situation Iva. Choosing booze over her husband and kids?

    • Jacqueline Barnes

      Ronald – couldn’t agree more not only “For better or worse” but also “In Sickness and in Health”…Alcoholism is a sickness. She does not choose to be sick…it is the #1 disease in America. People should not judge others if they have an illness.
      Also, agree…what a coward man to skip out on her at her lowest point in life and to take two boys who I am certain love their mommy and could have learned a lesson from him on love is unconditional…and not to be a coward and skip out.

  • douglas Lilly

    Elizabeth Vargas suffers from alcoholism. Period. It’s not rocket science. The disease will eat your lunch if you are unable to control it, ie don’t drink. Sounds too simplistic but there it is. Divorce is just one of a multitude of life factors that usually suffer from the disease, and with good cause. Don’t dump on the husband because he’s done with the marriage. He shouldn’t have to put up with her abuse of alcohol. Love me or love the booze. Your choice. Personally, when I turn on the tube for news Elizabeth Vargas is the person I want to see. My favorite for as long as she’s been in the business. Don’t stop stopping Elizabeth. It can be done.

    • Mark

      douglas…sobriety is achieved by giving up control!

  • Bobby Orlando

    We are all routing for you every step of the way. Best of luck to you Elizabeth and hope to see you back on ABC soon.

  • Colene

    Let her get help & stay sober. her family life is not our business.

  • mike owens

    Another drunk Liberal. Big surprise.

    • Inna

      Seeing your ignorant post, I suddenly feel some love for the liberals.
      Without liberals the world would not change.

  • Sue

    Didn’t she stand by him when he was shot?

    • Angie D

      I think he should stand by her, but being shot and being an alcoholic aren’t even in the same hemisphere.

  • Lilarose Davis

    I know lots of people who drink too much, but their spouses don’t divorce them, especially when they have YOUNG kids. Time for Elizabeth and hubby Marc Cohen to BOTH grow up…..maybe find a good home for your kids? They should be your #1 priority, not Elizabeth’s job or her drinking or her husband’s philandering (sure he is!)

    • Nicoleincos

      Maybe she was drinking a lot because she was unhappy in the marriage? Sad either way.

    • Ridge Briar

      Drinking too much … and alcohol addiction are two very different things. Addiction is a very irrational desire to keep drinking despite all the horrible problems it has caused in their life and the lives of those they care about – over and over and over again. All the time telling themselves they don’t really have a problem if ‘everyone else’ would just leave them alone – despite an encyclopedia of evidence to the contrary. Active alcoholics have a very distorted view of themselves and the world around them.
      Obviously you have never lived in a home with an alcoholic parent or spouse – it is toxic and destructive. NO ONE should ever be forced to live around an alcoholic – ever. It is soul crushing – and damaging and dangerous for children. It is a form of child abuse to be in the care of someone who behaves so irrationally and irresponsibly. IF the alcoholic wants to get sober for good … and not have one relapse after another, putting everyone around them on a constant roller coaster of emotions as to what mommy or daddy will say to do next … or always wondering every minute of your life it the alcoholic is sober .. or if they are drinking yet again and trying to hide it. Try spending every day of your life like that – for years.

      NO ONE can stop an alcoholic from drinking – EXCEPT the alcoholic themselves. That is a fact. The real victims of alcoholism are the family members close to the alcoholic – this is the REAL ‘collateral damage’ of this addiction – and the most tragic.
      Many times if an alcoholic finds long term sobriety … they have trouble remembering all their drunken and damaging behavior. BUT GUESS WHAT … those ‘sober’ family members NEVER FORGET those never ending nightmares of insane, bizarre behavior because they had the misfortune to live those moments while cold stone sober and clear eyed with nothing to muffle those nightmares like the alcoholic can with their self induced foggy, hazy recollections. Their family members will be scarred for the rest of their lives – they will never get over the toxic insanity of living with someone whose personality and mood changes every day or hour … all while lying through their teeth while professing they either haven’t been drinking … or only had just ‘a couple of drinks”.
      Never ever blame family members for leaving a toxic alcoholic environment they have no ability to fix themselves. Only the alcoholic can do that – and unfortunately, the odds of them finding lasting sobriety … is slim to none. Sometimes leaving is the very thing the alcoholic needs to snap them into action and getting help. Staying may be viewed as tolerance of the drinking by the alcoholic.
      Ultimately the sober family members are faced with this brutal reality … do you stay and add more victims and collateral damage? … or leave and save yourself and your children. The answer should be clear.

  • John White

    Not a role model by trying to get rehab, but has an illness/disease and is trying to deal with it. That is a good thing.
    What about all the regular every day people who live decent lives without these problems ? Aren’t they role models?

  • Scamuel

    Is she in rehab for the same type of rehab that Tiger Boy Woods did? Guess she better take an aspirin and keep it held between her knees 24/7. That would cure her!

  • Robert

    This time, in spite of all that is going on around you, is all about you and recovery. Don’t feel like you’ve let people down. Feel empowered to NOT let them, and you, down again.

  • Tommy

    After she gets rid of that nagging-nanny husband of hers (he’s the real problem) she can kick back with a cocktail or two after work, and maybe a nice fat doobie.

  • Tally Haugen

    She is a GOOD, STRONG Lady and deserves only The BEST WIshes for her recovery!

  • ralphb513

    I was 37 when my wife stood her ground and introduced me to reality: I had a problem. I stayed dry for 17 years, thought I could handle it, I couldn’t. It is a disease that never goes away. Lucky, my wife found Alanon, and stuck with me. Your husband or ex- needs to heal too. He can not walk away free from your disease. It is a family disease. If he won’t go for help, at least send your children. Otherwise it is generational. I know. I am there.

  • shirley smith

    Lush, lush, flush the lush down the toilet with Obama!

    • Mark

      Shirley, that’s brilliant…if you’re about 12 years old!

  • disqus_inLasVegas

    if it is a disease, then why is she ashamed?? obviously there is more to the story if he is leaving her in the middle of her battle with this disease. wouldn’t he be considered a total pig if he were leaving her if she was battling breast cancer?

  • Valia

    It is not a disease, it is a choice.
    It is their choice

    • Mark

      Valia…try doing some research on addiction. It might help you think past the end of your nose.

  • clearvision5

    It’s not just about her recovery that she went to rehab. If he cheated on her and they decided on divorce, what a better place to be than in a rehab facility. This decision was probably decided during her rehab stint in order for her to recover well and not relapse. It needed to happen if his infidelity is true…she doesn’t want to be on the outside and deal with this alone. Once she gets her head on straight and can use some tools, it will be much better. Good for you Ms. Vargas and be well.

  • cameo4352

    How is it this Mental Train Wreck holds on to her job ???

    Anyone else would have been fired LONG ago !!

  • Andrea Ellis

    Unless you are one, you can[t possibly know what she’s going through and what she must do to save her life. There is no cure only a constant daily reprieve and it’s going to be the hardest thing she’s ever done. Of course one never knows if one survives this horrible . terminal disease until your dead and haven’t used alcohol or other substances. Yes I am an alcoholic and know what I’m talking about. I understand what she’s going through and truth be told the only one that can save her is herself and her belief in a power greater than herself. No support from family, friends will stop the addict until you are tired of being sick and tired. I pray she take it slow and realize there’s a choice now and she'[s very brave for coming out of the closet and admitting it to the public….strength and Serenity I hope you find.

    • Mark

      Andrea…once you surrender, the hard part is over. It then becomes about living in the other eleven steps. It’s not the alcohol that’s “cunning, baffling, and powerful…it’s the ISM!

  • dazapper

    It is amazing to me, that people who don’t have all the facts, will berate someone they do not know personally. Alcohol addiction is a very difficult habit to break (I know, I am an alcoholic) and quitting was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. I wish Ms. Vargas success in her journey and the thing she needs most are caring people to support her……..not rip her to shreds with unfeeling nasty comments.