Mark Wright reveals he feared best friend James Argent would die from cocaine addiction and says he felt ‘helpless’

Mark Wright has candidly admitted he feared James Argent could have died from his cocaine addiction after seeking professional help for his best friend.

The 33 year old former The Only Way Is Essex star Mark was left fearing for his friend James’ life after trying to get him into a rehab facility around Christmas last year.

James bravely revealed his addiction to cocaine last month and has praised his best mate Mark and his girlfriend Gemma Collins for helping him try and beat the addiction as he goes on the road to recovery.

And now Mark has candidly re-told the tale of how he tried to help his friend by getting him to a rehab facility before Christmas last year.

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Speaking at his home via video link on Loose Women on Monday 15 June, Mark explained: “I spoke to a counsellor about it because people around someone who is suffering with an addiction – you need to know how to deal with it and how to help. Sometimes you feel helpless and many times I did feel helpless.

“I tried so many different ways to get him better and into rehab. A couple of times in the past and I believed he was better and then it would turn around a go bad again.”

Mark continued: “The worst it got was just before Christmas 2019. He was really, really bad and there were some bad moments that we were all going through.

“I, one day, tried to – basically, it wasn’t me – I got a friend to go to his house and say that he was gonna take him for some lunch and to drive him to a rehab because he wouldn’t accept going.


“We did that, then he got to the rehab centre and he called me from their phone and said: ‘I’m not staying here, I’m leaving. Why have you done this?’

“I said: ‘Arg, it’s the only route you need to do this,’ because he wouldn’t listen to us and wouldn’t take the help we were asking.”

Mark, who recently celebrated his five year wedding anniversary with wife Michelle Keegan, said: “And then he left on his own accord. He got a train home because it was miles away.

“So I called up the guy from there and said: ‘What can I do? I’ve taken every step I can, I’ve got him to the rehab he’s not staying there. How can I physically make him do this?’ And he just said to me: ‘Sometimes you have to let them hit rock bottom and they have to know they need the help, because if an addict doesn’t want the help, you can’t do nothing about it.’

“And I was like: ‘But, then what if he dies?’ And the answer the guy said to me literally was: ‘It’s a risk you have to take’.”

Earlier this year Arg checked himself into a rehabilitation retreat in Thailand – which was organised by Mark – and has since bravely spoken about his addiction to cocaine and eating disorder.

During a candid chat on This Morning last month, Arg praised BFF Mark for his support.

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He said: “Mark is my best friend. He’s always been there through my ups and downs. He has always given me tough love.

“Throughout the whole of December he was begging me to go into rehab, but I had given up hope and didn’t want to stop.”

Arg added: “He went out of his way to get me into a rehab in Thailand and helped me with the financial side of things.

“I am forever grateful. I am lucky to have friends like that.”

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