Cory Monteith's mother believes his first overdose at 15 was "the turning point".
The Glee star passed away in July last year after suffering an overdose of heroin and alcohol. The 31-year-old star was known to have battled substance abuse and had been in rehab when he was younger, as well as completing a stint just months before his death.
His mother Ann has given her first interview since his passing, admitting she is still struggling to come to terms with what has happened.
"The loss is horrendous... until three days ago I couldn't look at a picture of Cory," she told ABC News.
"[When] Cory was 15, he did a code blue [hospital term used for those who need immediate resuscitation]. And I think that was the turning point. He had a lot of emotional things he was trying to figure out - lot of it was he really wanted a relationship with his father. I think when a child gets invalidated they keep reaching even harder. They want to find out why."
That time is engrained on Ann's memory as it was when she first began thinking properly about her son's problems.
"I remember after Cory's first OD the drive we took - all I did was stare into his eyes and hug him and look at him because I had this feeling [that] I really want to know him, because I'm not going to have him my entire life. That was way back then," she said.
Monteith was dating his Glee co-star Lea Michele at the time of his death and she recently paid a touching tribute to him on the first anniversary. She is still in touch with Ann, texting and emailing her regularly.
"She's hurting too... you see the sadness. I know her pain," Ann said.
We hold you in our hearts today, and every day we remember your smile. We will love you and miss you always. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/deA4PQUZNz
— Lea Michele (@msleamichele) July 13, 2014
The actor was a quick developer and could read by the time he was three. It meant he was advanced when he got into school so he skipped year, but was still smarter than many in his class. He ended up being put into grade two, with Ann suggesting even that bored him.
"Cory had that mischievous side to him all the time. He was always kind of, you know, looking for stimulation," she said.
The star's mother explained he was about to sign a lease on a property in Vancouver - the area where he was raised and also died - before he passed. She believes he was ready to "ease himself out" of Hollywood.
Asked whether she could pass on any advice to parents of other stars who are struggling personally, Ann was at a loss.
"I don't think we have power to change the choices they're making, I think with the kind of connection Cory and I had if we couldn't prevent that situation I don't have the answer. What could I say to them? Live the moment. Grab the second," she said.
"I don't think blame is a good thing to do. That was his choice."
- Cover Media