Back in November of 2018, FTVLive FIRST told you that Brandon Lee was signing off from Meredith’s KTVK in Phoenix.
Lee has resurfaced in LA and he is writing a book about his addiction and recovery.
“I thought when I hit five years of sobriety, I’d have enough credibility to write about it,” he said to the Phoenix New Times.
“Then I got to five years of sobriety, and I thought, 'I’m not ready to write about my journey.'” Four years further along, Lee felt he had something to say.
He’d departed Phoenix last November after five years as news anchor at 3TV, had resettled in his hometown of Los Angeles, and launched a recovery podcast called Escaping Rock Bottom before settling in to write about drug and sex addiction and how he’d overcome them. His self-published memoir, Mascara Boy, was about to arrive on bookshelves everywhere. In fact, Lee said, it sort of already had.
“I don’t know what the hell they did,” he cheerfully admitted. “But Amazon made a mistake and started shipping the paperback version out a week early. It was supposed to come out on June 25, but 10 people have already read it.”
The book’s title refers to the assumption that Lee, who has unusually thick eyelashes, wears eye makeup. (“Never have,” he said with a little laugh. “Never will.”) Mascara Boy recounts the childhood sexual abuse that Lee said led to his adult drug and sex addictions. The book marks the end of an era in his life, he believes.
The day before, he’d visited old friends in the Channel 3 newsroom. “It was so interesting being back there,” he said. “Everyone kept saying to me, ‘You look so light. There’s a sparkle of life back in your eyes.’”
Restoring that sparkle had taken some time. Largely ignored by his wealthy parents, Lee had turned to sex with strangers as a teenager. Drugs and circuit parties became the hackneyed backdrop to a success story that included news anchor positions in Boston and Atlanta. Mascara Boy keeps Lee’s career in the shadows, focusing instead on bath houses and steroid addiction. In one especially harrowing chapter, he details his time as a “bugchaser” — someone who’s HIV-negative but attempting to seroconvert by having sex with men who are HIV-positive.
Recovery programs helped him clean up his act. Now, he said, he gets to really be Brandon Lee: “the most authentic version of myself I’ve ever been.
More at Phoenix New Times