An open book. Dirty John star Kevin Zegers addressed fan backlash after sharing a video of his wife, Jaime Feld, teaching the couple’s 3-year-old twin daughters to say that daddy is an ‘alcoholic.’
“Some people seem to have taken issue with my previous post. Let me clarify. Being in recovery is a part of my life,” he wrote on Instagram on Thursday, January 24. “Being an ‘alcoholic’ doesn’t mean that I drink. Quite the contrary. When I’m not home for bedtime, my girls often insist on knowing where I am. Instead of lying to them, or projecting an archaic stigma, we choose to tell them the truth. ‘Daddy’s at a meeting.’”
He continued: “Our hope is that we teach our girls some empathy and understanding about addiction. That in spite of being an alcoholic they have a father who has chosen a healthy way to live. For 8 years, I’ve chosen to live a clean and sober life that involves much more than just not drinking.”
The Traders star, 34, closed his post with a hope to inspire those still struggling. “I choose to share this because too many people, like some commenting below, want to shame people with addiction and mental health issues back into the shadows. My choice is to crack the window open so others can see what’s possible on the other side.”
The clip in question, posted to Instagram on Wednesday, January 23, showed Feld asking the young girls, Zoe and Blake, what daddy is. “An alcoholic!” Zoe responded, to which her mom says, “OK, great.”
“So where is daddy right now?” she asked the pair. “Alcoholic,” they replied in unison.
“Alcoholics Anonymous meeting,” Feld corrected. “Isn’t that cool?”
“Learning ‘em young,” the Gossip Girl alum wrote of the video.
The post had fans torn, with some praising the parents for being open and honest with their children, and others condemning them.
“Not sure what this is supposed to mean, teach kids what,” one commenter wrote. “That it’s okay/funny to be an alcoholic … I am just confused with this message, I get letting your kids know things when they are young but maybe they are a wee bit too young to understand that this is something not to be positive about, yes, that he’s going to meetings, that’s good, but as a whole it’s not a subject for kids to think is okay.”
Zegers’ spouse replied to the remark, writing, “Appreciate your opinion but we believe in being honest with our kids about it. It’s a fact of our lives and we aren’t ashamed of it. We are proud of Kevin’s almost 8 years of sobriety. Truly sorry if that’s upsetting.”
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