It would not be a ratings book if at least one Anchor admitted to being a drunk.
Former Atlanta Anchor Amanda Davis returned on air for the first time in three years on WGCL to discuss her struggles with alcohol and depression, including the drunk driving incident that contributed to her departure from WAGA.
For years, Davis made excuses for her actions, but the WGCL story opened with her saying, "I’m here by the grace of God. I’m responsible for everything that’s happened to me. I offer no excuses. This is what I know. God takes care of me. Family and friends love me. And I got some much needed help. I have one reason to do this now. I hope sharing my journey will help someone else."
Davis said her drinking problem really began six years ago after a failed engagement that caused her self esteem to plummet. (She had a DUI more than 20 years ago as well.) She also felt at the time like WAGA was getting ready to send her to pasture now that she was in her 50s. “I knew how the industry operated,” she said. “Women don’t get to age on TV. They’re replaced by younger, prettier ones.”
Is it me, or do these sound like excuses, which she just said she would not make?
Davis said she always saw herself as a “social drinker.” “A few friends expressed concern about my drinking,” she said. “I brushed it off.” Her vision of an alcoholic was someone who needed to drink “sun up and sun down.” That wasn’t her.
Davis said she felt self pity and didn’t realize how truly blessed she was. “My life was spiraling out of control,” she said. “Then it happened. The worst day of my life. I hit rock bottom.”
On November 11, 2012, Davis went to a comedy show with friends. But her friends had loved ones to go home to. She didn’t. So she stopped to get something to eat and drink. On her way home, she hit another vehicle head on driving down the wrong side of the road, injuring the other driver.
“As my car spun out of control,” she said, “I remember feeling terrified but relieved. My secret was out. Someone would hear my cry for help.”
She was arrested, charged with reckless driving and DUI. At the time, she realized her life would change forever. (Later, those charges were dropped but she now acknowledges she was under the influence.)
She said that drinking was her way to numb her pain. “If I had too many, I got to the point where I was happy,” she said. “I was having fun. I didn’t know to stop. That was the problem. I couldn’t stop once I started.”
“I have no excuse for drinking and getting behind the wheel,” she told the anchors. “I was wrong… There is no forgiving that.”
Tonight the station airs part 2 of Davis's story. Because no Anchor can admit to being a drunk in just one part.
And it is ratings after all.