MIA no more! Former Baywatch babe Yasmine Bleeth made her first public appearance in more than a decade, showing up at the 55th annual Penguin Plunge on New Year’s Day last week with her husband, Paul Cerrito.
In the photo, Bleeth ditched her red swimsuit for a pair of loose-fitting tie-dye pants and a long-sleeve black shirt. The actress beamed as she walked barefoot along the shore while brave swimmers took the plunge into the Pacific Ocean.
Her soap star pal Eileen Davidson also documented the fun day on Twitter, sharing a group photo from the plunge.
Penguin swim!!! pic.twitter.com/DFkjaEZ3a3
— Eileen Davidson (@eileen_davidson) January 2, 2015
Bleeth skyrocketed to fame in the ’90s after she joined Baywatch in its fourth season. She played Caroline Holden, the striking younger sister of Lt. Stephanie Holden (who was portrayed by Alexandra Paul). Though Bleeth was a popular character on the show, she was ultimately let go after four seasons due to personal issues.
In a 2012 interview with Esquire, show producer Douglas Schwartz revealed why. “We had one issue with Yasmine Bleeth, who was doing drugs at the time,” he recalled. “And so we were dealing with Yasmine not showing up and having difficulties, again with men. That’s why we let Yasmine go off the show: because it was too difficult to deal with her after awhile.”
Bleeth was still in-demand in Hollywood even after her Baywatch stint ended, and eventually starred on Nash Bridges from 1998 to 2000, and the short-lived NBC drama Titans from 2000 to 2001. In November 2001, she checked into world-renowned rehab facility Promises in Malibu.
Two weeks after her release from rehab, Bleeth was arrested in Detroit after driving into a median while on cocaine. This turning point prompted her to clean up her act.
In 2003, Bleeth opened up in Glamour about her turbulent history with addiction and how her body had dramatically dwindled from a size 6 to size 0 in 1999. “I never expected to get into drugs,” she wrote. “And if I was sniffling, my publicist would tell people I had sinus problems, which I do.”
Bleeth, married to Cerrito since 2004, revealed in the same piece that she had gained 20 pounds after recovering from addiction while staying at her mom’s home.
“Consciously trying to stay off drugs is now part of my life,” she wrote. “And always will be.”
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