‘I Wasn’t Okay’: Cara Delevingne Opens Up About Addiction Struggles & Those Awful Pap Photos

Cara Delevingne addresses viral paparazzi photos

Cara Delevingne has finally addressed the infamous paparazzi photos that left fans concerned for her mental well-being in a raw and honest interview with Vogue.

The model and movie star was photographed looking dishevelled and confused at an airport in September last year after Burning Man, which led to mass commentary on the state of her wellbeing.

“I hadn’t slept. I was not okay,” Cara Delevingne told Vogue of the circumstances of the paparazzi shots. Now, they leave her feeling embarrassed and ashamed.

“It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, Okay, I don’t look well,” she said.

“You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.”

In the interview, Delevingne opened up about her mother’s history of addiction and the trauma it caused her which led to that fateful day. She recalled the first time she experienced alcohol misuse when she was just seven years old.

“I woke up in my granny’s house in my bedroom with a hangover, in a bridesmaid’s dress,” said Delevingne.

“I’d gone around nailing glasses of champagne.”

At 15, she was put on antidepressants which she said “saved her life”.

However, she was still dealing with her trauma and the “fucking hole inside”, and suffered through bouts of depression over the years.

When the pandemic lockdowns hit Los Angeles in 2020, things took a turn for the worse. Delevingne had shacked up and created a COVID bubble with her girlfriend at the time, Ashley Benson — but then they broke up.

“I was alone, really alone…it was a low point,” she revealed.

“I just had a complete existential crisis. 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.”

When lockdown ended, Cara Delevingne was free — kind of. She threw herself back into work and partied hard to avoid feeling anything. And then her grandma — the woman who often took care of her and provided her a safe space when her parents were unable to care for her — passed away.

Two weeks later, she attended the Met Gala, and it was all just too much.

“I went and got blackout afterwards,” Delevingne said.

“It was like, ‘What am I doing’The day after, I had to travel to my granny’s funeral. It was horrible.”

After the funeral, the cycle of partying-blackout-isolation intensified and it all came to a head when she flew out to the Nevada desert to attend Burning Man festival.

“There’s an element of feeling invincible when I’m on drugs,” she told Vogue.

“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 was just after this that the infamous paparazzi photos of Cara Delevingne were unleashed onto the internet, which was the final straw for her friends who rallied around her and began an intervention.

“From September, I just needed support,” she said.

“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 entered rehab late last year, began seeing a therapist, and is now fully committed to the 12-step program.

“This process obviously has its ups and downs, but I’ve started realizing so much,” she said.

“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…. 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.”

For now, Cara Delevingne is taking things day by day — even “second by second” — but it’s a huge amount of progress from where she was last year, and she’s finally doing what she needs to look after herself.

You can read the full interview here.

If you need mental health support, or support involving substance misuse and addiction, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online

You can also reach the Alcohol Drug Information Service at 1800 250 015 or chat online.

You can find helplines and resources at DrinkWise

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.