Tilton’s Booze Hell After Fiance Tragedy

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January 9, 2012 | 7:40am EST

Actress Charlene Tilton was plunged into a nightmare following the sudden death of her fiance, spending seven months lying on her couch and boozing to numb her pain.
The Dallas icon was left in deep shock when cinematographer Cheddy Hart died from heart failure at the age of 54 the day before Christmas Eve in 2009.

She admits her grief sparked seven months of darkness during which she feared she too would die – but she pulled herself back from the brink for the sake of her daughter, Cherish.

Tilton tells the Daily Mail, “I was in such shock. I still am. I was an absolute mess. I couldn’t get off the couch. I couldn’t do anything. Then, about seven months later, something clicked. I thought, ‘What am I going to do? Just lay down and join him?’ He wouldn’t have wanted that. My daughter wouldn’t have wanted that either.

“Somehow I had to get out of that depression, so I changed everything. I don’t drink any more. I don’t smoke. I try to be really healthy and grab any opportunity that comes along with both hands.

“That’s not to say I’m not still affected by it. But hey, I’m coming out the other end… I drank to try to stop feeling anything. I had a moment where I thought, ‘I’m either going to live or I’m going to join my man.’ But then I thought about my daughter and knew that there was a lot I still wanted to do. I knew I had to pick myself up.”

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