Philip Seymour Hoffman: What’s come out about him since he died

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“The first time I met Phil, there was instant chemistry between us,” Mimi O’Donnell revealed in a 2017 tribute to her late partner, which ran in Vogue. After meeting in 1999 when she interviewed to be the costume designer for In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, the first play Hoffman ever directed, the pair went on their first date in 2001. “From the beginning, Phil was very frank about his addictions,” O’Donnell wrote. “Being sober and a recovering addict was, along with acting and directing, very much the focus of his life.”

Things were fine for years before “the first tangible sign [of trouble] came when, out of nowhere, [Hoffman] said to [O’Donnell], ‘I’ve been thinking I want to try to have a drink again. What do you think?'” Their relationship would never be the same. That drink gave way to prescription opioids, and then her worst fear came true: Hoffman secretly began using heroin again. “I sensed it, terrified,” she recalled. “I told him, “You’re going to die. That’s what happens with heroin.’ Every day was filled with worry. Every night, when he went out, I wondered: Will I see him again?”

Watching her love struggle with sobriety became “heartbreaking,” and O’Donnell admitted that was when “for the first time I realized that his addiction was bigger than either of us. I bowed my head and thought, I can’t fix this. It was the moment that I let go.”

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