In October 2009, Artie Lange revealed that he rejected a $200,000 offer to appear on VH1’s “celebreality” series Celebrity Rehab, even though he says he adores Dr. Drew Pinsky. “Dr. Drew has been very nice to me. He calls me, he’s concerned about me,” Lange told the New York Post. “Dr. Drew is a great, great man, but the Celebrity Rehab I have a problem with. I don’t think that’s helping Jeff Conaway. There’s different schools of thought. And they offered me $200,000 to do it, and I said no because to me, you know, do I want to kill my mother? I just said no to a reality show. And they said it was about me getting better, but if I relapsed they’re not going to air that, you know what I mean? My mother knows I’ve done coke but she’s never seen me do it.”
Lange may have had a point: Dr. Drew treated Grease star Conaway, to whom Lange referred, on Celebrity Rehab in 2008. In 2011, Conaway died at 60 years old. Dr. Drew told TMZ that Conaway hadn’t died from a drug overdose, but that years of prior prescription drug abuse deteriorated his body to the point that he couldn’t recover. However, E! News reported that drugs were indeed found in Conaway’s system, but that his death had several causes, including pneumonia and coronary artery disease.