- Andrew Gillum appeared on Monday in his first television interview since he was the center of Florida political news following an incident in a Miami hotel room in March.
- "I was literally collapsed to my bareest place, the place where I wasn't even sure I wanted to live – not because of what I had done but because of everything that was said about me," said Gillum Tamron Hall in their series premiere.
- The former Democratic candidate for Florida governor in 2018, a rising star in the Democratic Party, was found drunk in a room with a male escort who had suspiciously overdosed on methamphetamine.
- Gillum retired from public life for the past six months, saying he had gone into rehab.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Andrew Gillum, a Florida politician hailed as an aspiring Democratic star, spoke on Monday in his first television interview after a widespread incident at a Miami Beach hotel six months ago.
Gillum, who narrowly lost the state's 2018 gubernatorial race, said he drank a lot for about four hours alone on the beach, turned black, and last remembered waking up in his own vomit on the bathroom floor of a hotel room.
According to police reports, a drunk Gillum was found in the room along with a man who allegedly overdosed on crystal meth and was later reported to work as an escort. Gillum later announced that he had never used methamphetamines.
Photos of the ordeal sparked frenzied media coverage in March about the former politician.
Gillum had since retired from the public eye and gone into rehab to deal with issues of alcoholism and depression and to recover from the "shame" brought on him by the episode's exposure.
"I cried every day. I cried because I was sad to see myself in this place," said Gillum in an interview with ABC's "Tamron Hall" after photos of him that were naked from the night in question were online had been spread. "I didn't recognize this person. I cried because I didn't know it could get this bad."
"I was literally collapsed to my bareest place, the place I wasn't even sure I wanted to live – not because of what I had done but because of everything that was said about me," shared Gillum . "I'm still here by the grace of God. So much of my recovery has been about overcoming shame."
Gillum previously served as Tallahassee Mayor from 2014 to 2018 and garnered national attention as a political sensation during the 2018 gubernatorial election. He lost the race with Republican Ron DeSantis with around 30,000 votes.
"People who talked about that night, who weren't there, who talked about your life with such certainty and used that word 'shame' than they did a few months ago … put the whole Democratic Party's hopes for you, "Hall said during the interview.
Gillum revealed that the most "hurtful" rumors were those spread about his marriage and family. The 41-year-old father of three showed for the first time that he is bisexual.
"I felt like the love I have between my wife and me, my family – but most of all the authenticity with which I try to lead – was being challenged at this point," said Gillum.
"And to be perfectly honest, and you didn't ask the question, you said whether or not I identify as gay and the answer is, I don't identify as gay, but I identify as bisexual," he said added.
Pushing back that he was a fallen rising star, Gillum suggested returning to public life in new ways, suggesting the possibility of running again for office.
"Bigger is coming. I don't know what it looks like. I thought it was an elected official, and God knows maybe it will," he said. "But I am also open to the possibility that my contributions take a completely different form."
"There is nothing that has happened in my life, scandalous or not, that leads me to believe that if I can do some service in the elected office to achieve this, I couldn't do it." "Gillum added." Well, would it be hard? Absolutely. But Donald Trump is President. "