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"At the time, I was depressed, I was in a marriage I didn't want to be in" - When Andre Agassi opened up about his drug consumption

Andre Agassi married Brooke Shields in 1997
Andre Agassi married Brooke Shields in 1997

Andre Agassi, a formidable force on the men's circuit during the 1990s and the early 2000s, stunned the tennis world in 2009 when he revealed that he had consumed a highly addictive illegal drug in 1997 and lied to the ATP to avoid a ban.

The shocking revelation was made in his autobiography, 'Open', which was published in 2009. After failing to get Steffi Graf's attention earlier, Agassi moved on and got married to actress Brooke Shields. It turned out to be a disaster for the couple as they got divorced in 1999. This was one of the reasons why the tennis star was depressed and wanted to escape his reality.

During one of his interviews while he was promoting the book, Agassi spoke in detail about the entire episode. He stated that he was really vulnerable while going through a bad marriage when he consumed a drug called 'crystal methamphetamine'.

"I don't know if anybody really understands the power of drugs when they choose to do it," Andre Agassi said. "It was at a time when I was depressed, I was at a low point. I was in a life I didn't choose, I was in a marriage I didn't want to be in. Somebody came along and offered me an escape and I took it.
"And do you realize the trappings of it when it happens?" he continued. "No, I couldn't understand the full implications of what it means. I think that's part of the trappings of drugs and that's part of the truth that has to be talked about."

He further added that while the consumer might feel good initially, the drug eventually destroys the person.

"It does appear to offer you something without taking anything but that quickly turns and when it turns, it's quite horrifying. It destroys you and your choices. You think it's giving you a chemically induced sense that you're connecting and feeling again, and the next thing you know, you're getting more separated from the people in your life and you're becoming more and more dependent on it. It takes full ownership of you at some point," he added.
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"The latter part of this year was when we found each other and life took on a whole new dimension" - Andre Agassi on the importance of the year 1999

Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf got married in 2001
Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf got married in 2001

In 1999, both Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf won the French Open titles in the singles category. This was the same year that Agassi's first marriage ended and he tried to get in touch with Graf once again. Things worked out really well for both of them as they married each other in 2001.

During an interview with Steffi Buchli in 2013, Agassi stated how important the year 1999 was for the couple and that once he found Graf, his life changed completely.

"This was a special year for both of us for a lot of reasons, but this tournament (French Open) particularly was one of my greatest memories for sure. The latter part of this year was when we found each other and life took on a whole new dimension. So, you could say that maybe there was destiny in some of it but, from this day forward, there was no more regrets in life for a lot of reasons," Andre Agassi said.
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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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