The public interest in my financial affairs and the inaccurate descriptions of my situation have led me to write this column: Today I have filed for Chapter 7, personal bankruptcy.
I delayed taking this step for a number of years because of my moral and legal obligation to people who advanced me funds or performed services in good faith. But the constant and aggressive collection efforts and press initiatives undertaken by creditors have harassed my family and prevented me from working to be able to pay these debts. Prospective clients have been pushed away after receiving notice of my debts. It doesn't seem logical to prevent a person who owes you money from working in their chosen field by attempting to ruin his reputation, but that is what has happened. I have lived with this in recent years, and it is time to follow a more constructive path.
I have struggled with alcohol for a number of years. In the past five or six years I began to check out episodically for short periods. My judgment and oversight of my affairs was not consistent and was at times impaired. I am responsible for my own addiction -- no one forced me to drink -- and in revealing my struggle with alcoholism, I am in no way justifying or excusing my circumstance. But I discuss it to provide context as well as understanding and inspiration to those who also battle addictive behavior. I surrendered to the reality that I was an alcoholic and my behavior was impacting family and associates in March 2010. I surrendered to the concept that until I tackled alcoholism, other priorities needed to be put aside.