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Cara Delevingne Says ‘Heartbreaking’ Airport Photos Were a ‘Reality Check’

Cara Delevingne. Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Cara Delevingne revealed that the concerning paparazzi photos from September 2022 are what led her to rehab following a period of heavy substance use and personal turmoil. In a Vogue profile, the model explained how pandemic-related isolation, coupled with the loss of her grandmother, Jane Sheffield, and coming to terms with her identity on the series Planet Sex, triggered old patterns of hard partying that ultimately led to the troubling paparazzi shots from last September. In those images, Delevingne is shoeless and looks quite disheveled at Van Nuys Airport. “There’s an element of feeling invincible when I’m on drugs,” she shared. “I put myself in danger in those moments because I don’t care about my life.”

She was returning from a bender at Burning Man covered in inexplicable bruises — “I would climb anything and jump off stuff … it felt feral” — when the infamous pictures were taken. “I hadn’t slept. I was not okay,” she said, explaining that she had been traveling for work. “It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, ‘Okay, I don’t look well.’ You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.” As fans grew worried about her erratic behavior, Delevingne herself was scared. “All I knew is if I was continuing to go down the road I was, I would either end up dead or, like, doing something really, really stupid,” she told Vogue in the accompanying clip. “And I think that was really scary.” Friends rallied around her soon after, and by the end of the year, she had checked herself into rehab. “I’ve had interventions of a sort, but I wasn’t ready,” she admitted. “That’s the problem. If you’re not face-first on the floor and ready to get up again, you won’t. At that point,” she said, referring to the incident in September, “I really was.”

Cara Delevingne Says Paparazzi Photos Were a ‘Reality Check’