Bruce Springsteen playing on stage

Are friends of Bruce Springsteen worried he’s developed a problem with alcohol in light of his arrest on suspicion of drinking and driving late last year? One tabloid’s sources claim The Boss could be battling depression and drinking too much as a result. Gossip Cop investigates.

Bruce Springsteen’s Troubling DWI

In the latest issue of the National Enquirer, a source tells the paper that those close to Springsteen are worried his DWI is a sign he could be drinking as a way to cope with his depression. The New Jersey legend has admitted in the past that he has struggled with his mental health, and according to the source, “He found relief in therapy, but the pressure of maintaining such a massive career, combined with the pressures we’re all dealing with in the pandemic, all may have gotten to him.”

The article mentions a history of alcoholism in Bruce Springsteen’s family, something else the rocker has talked about in the past, as his father was an alcoholic. The magazine’s insider says, “His friends are afraid his newfound need to drink may be hereditary. Bruce didn’t like what he saw in his dad — but genetics are a tough thing to beat.” The source also claims, “Bruce is a very strong man but has always struggled with his personal demons,” seemingly a reference to his depression issues.

What’s Going On Here

There is a lot of unpack here, so let’s start with the facts. Bruce Springsteen was arrested on November 14, 2020 for driving while intoxicated in Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. He apparently told the arresting officer he’d had two shots of tequila in the previous 20 minutes, and according to the report,  “Springsteen smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes.”

That much we know, but what we also know now, at what the tabloid leaves out is that Springsteen took a breathalyzer test and blew a .02. That’s a quarter the legal limit of .08 in New Jersey and on federal ground, where the arrest took place. So, let’s be honest, that’s not exactly knee-walking drunk — in fact, it’s not drunk at all. It’s certainly not concerning. You would expect by the tabloid’s “insider’s” breathless worries that Springsteen would be so drunk he could hardly stand, and that clearly isn’t the case.

As for “friends” being worried, that statement is dubious at best. Springsteen is famous for having been the rare rock star that has basically abstained from drugs for his entire career. His good friend and one of the guitar players in the E Street Band almost from the beginning, Stevie Van Zandt, told Rolling Stone in 2014, “He’s the opposite of a drug-created monster. He’s in good shape by not doing drugs. It’s something he doesn’t have to preach about. He’s a living example of what happens when you never do drugs your whole life.”

So, we’ve established that it’s unlikely that The Boss was drunk and we’ve shown that friends of Springsteen are amazed at how he’s stayed in such good shape into his 60s by not doing drugs. So who exactly is this tabloid’s “source”? Gossip Cop suspects, as is so often the case with the Enquirer, the source is either someone not really close to Springsteen or possibly even made up completely. One thing we can say for sure, the article is really just a sensationalize bit of so-called “journalism.”

Why This Is Familiar

This is a popular topic for the Enquirer. Gossip Cop busted the tabloid for a similar story that alleged that Brad Pitt had relapsed in 2019 after giving up booze. That story, like this one, focused on supposed “friends” of the actor that feared he was drinking again.  The publication claimed that Pitt’s career was going so well that he was bending the rules of sobriety. Our source close to the actor assured us he was not and that he remained clean and sober. The tabloid was wrong then, and it’s almost certainly wrong now.

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