A close call. Aaron Sorkin revealed that he suffered a stroke last year, prompting him to reexamine his habits.
The Social Network screenwriter, 61, recalled the experience during an interview with the New York Times published on Wednesday, March 22. Sorkin told the outlet that during a November 2022 visit to the doctor, he learned that he’d suffered a stroke and had blood pressure so high, he was “supposed to be dead.”
At the time, the Oscar winner was working on the book for the latest revival of the Broadway musical Camelot and feared that the health scare would affect his ability to move forward with the project.
“There was a minute when I was concerned that I was never going to be able to write again and I was concerned in the short-term that I wasn’t going to be able to continue writing Camelot,” he shared.
Sorkin had difficulties with speech and typing for about a month after the medical event. Although his lingering symptoms have subsided, he describes the experience as a “loud wake-up call.”
The New York native continued: “I thought I was one of those people who could eat whatever he wanted, smoke as much as he wanted and it’s not going to affect me. Boy, was I wrong.”
After his stroke, the West Wing creator quit smoking, started exercising regularly and changed his diet. “I take a lot of medicine. You can hear the pills rattling around in me,” he quipped.
While the Molly’s Game director first told the outlet about the medical event off the record, he decided that sharing his story was worthwhile.
“If it’ll get one person to stop smoking, then it’ll be helpful,” he said, emphasizing that he has made a full recovery. “Let me make this very, very clear, I’m fine. I wouldn’t want anyone to think I can’t work,” he said.
Nicotine is not the first addiction substance the Newsroom creator has given up. Sorkin previously spoke candidly about his experience quitting cocaine.
“My big fear when I quit drugs was that I wouldn’t be able to write anymore. Because if you’re a writer and you’re on a roll – and I was on a roll when I was high – you don’t want to change anything about the way you work,” the Syracuse University alum told Men’s Journal in December 2017.
He continued: “But I’m 11 years clean now, and I’ve been much more productive in those 11 years than I was in the 11 years prior. But even if I hadn’t been, it wouldn’t have been worth it [to keep using drugs].”
The filmmaker shares daughter Roxy, 22, with ex-wife Julia Bingham. The pair were married from 1996 to 2005. In 2021, Sorkin had a brief romance with Paulina Porizkova.
The model, 57, confirmed their split via Instagram in July 2021, singing her former beau’s praises in the process.
“I’m so grateful for his presence in my life. He helped heal me and reclaim myself,” Porizkova wrote alongside a photo of her and Sorkin walking together. A broken heart emoji was placed over the photo.
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The former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover star continued: “There truly may be no better man, no man who’s more genuinely ‘good.’ He’s brilliant and witty and funny and sexy. But it doesn’t matter how much we may wish we were birds of a feather —we’re still a duck and a goose.”
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