Frankie Lons, the mother of R&B singer Keyshia Cole, became famous by being outrageous and emotional on Cole’s BET reality hit “The Way It Is” a few years. She even crafted her own signature catch phrases like “Man down!” and “Holla!” Lons was able to spin her notoriety into a BET spinoff with her daughter Neffe, which aired one season.
But drugs and alcohol have haunted Lons for years. Fame did not change that. The result: a stint earlier this year on “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” the fourth season of the VH1 show featuring mostly C-grade “celebrities” trying to wean themselves off various addictions.
She joins the likes of supermodel Janice Dickinson, ’70s teen idol Leif Garrett, actor Jeremy London and former metro Atlanta resident and actor Eric Roberts.
“I was tired of people looking at me,” said Lons in an interview earlier in the fall the day after she got out of rehab and before she entered a special post-rehab facility. She said she spent 18 days at Dr. Drew’s rehab center. “I was drinking until I blacked out.” She said she imbibed every single day and identified herself as “an alcoholic. It’s a disease. I need help.”
She said she still need help. “I need some adjustments,” she said. “I’m still under a lot of stress. It takes time to heal.” The experience, she said, ‘was very difficult. It was irritating, excruciating.”
How about her peers on the show? “I love those people,” she said. “They’re part of my sobriety. At the end of the day, I do miss them.” She did have issues with Dickinson. “She almost made me lose it. I was going to relapse on her head! Nobody could deal with her when she first came in.” She said Dickinson’s attitude did improve over time.
Lons quickly got tired of talking about Dickinson. “I made my comments. Let’s talk about Frankie!”
(After watching the first episode, the person who wins “Most Obnoxious” is some playboy rich boy Jason Davis, who constantly bugs Dickinson about her plastic surgery.)
Okay, back to Lons. The fight for sobriety, she said, “was the hardest battle I’ve ever fought. I won the battle. Now I have to win the war.”
Dr. Drew, she added, “was like an angel sent from heaven.”
Her manager Leroy McMath said Lons had problems when she had idle time and she’d hang with friends and drink too much Hennessy. “I tried to keep her away but she’d do club appearances,” he said. “She has friends who drink and party.”
“Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” 10 p.m. on Wednesdays on VH1, starting Dec. 1
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog