Buffy the Vampire Slayer made its television debut in 1997 and, 20-plus years later, the show’s fans’ passion has not dwindled. In the series, actor Nicholas Brendon played the role of demon-hunter Xander Harris and appeared in all 145 episodes.
While growing up, according to the bio on his website, Brendon had his sights set on being a professional baseball player but, because of an arm injury, Brendon was forced to change tactics. That is when he found acting. Brendon, who stuttered since he was a child, had a tough time at the beginning of his acting career, as he would stutter from time to time. He ended up quitting acting for two years, but returned to the profession at 25 and landed the Buffy gig.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which aired from 1997 to 2003, began on The WB and eventually transitioned to UPN. After seven seasons, show creator Joss Whedon and Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, decided that it was time to end the series, per ScreenRant. Unfortunately, for Brendon, after Buffy ended, his struggles began. Continue reading to find out more about what happened to Nicholas Brendon in the years since his breakout role.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Nicholas Brendon entered rehab
In 2004, following the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nicholas Brendon revealed that he had been battling addiction. In a statement on his website, per Entertainment Weekly, Brendon stated, “After realizing that I had a disease that was taking control of my life, I decided that the best way for me to regain my health was to enter a treatment facility I’m grateful for the love and support I’ve gotten from my wife, Tressa; my entire family; my business associates; and my friends.” He also thanked his die-hard Buffy fans, writing, “Over the past eight years I’ve discovered that Buffy fans are the most caring and supportive fans in the world. Knowing that they will be behind me, rooting for me as I go through this process, makes everything that much easier. I’m looking forward to leading a happy, sober life.”
In the following years, Brendon seemed to be doing well, but that all changed in 2010. After being tasered by police, Brendon was arrested and charged with vandalism, resisting arrest, and battery against a police officer, TMZ reported. Following the arrest, he entered rehab for a second time, per Radar Online. Four years later, in October 2014, People reported that he was arrested in Boise, Idaho, and charged with two misdemeanor counts: malicious injury to property and restraining or obstructing officers. Brendon “showed signs of intoxication and repeatedly refused officers commands to stay seated while officers tried to speak to witnesses.” Find out below why the following year, 2015, turned out to be Nicholas Brendon’s most challenging ever.
Nicholas Brendon was arrested multiple times in 2015
For actor Nicholas Brendon, 2015 turned about to be a devastating year, as he was arrested four times and entered rehab multiple times. In February 2015, just days after he and his second wife Moonda Tee split following five months of marriage, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that police arrested the actor for trashing his Fort Lauderdale, Fla. hotel room. The next month, per People, Brendon was arrested once again for trashing a Florida hotel room with damages totaling $1,000. In May 2015, according to Us Weekly, police arrested the actor a third time in South Carolina for public intoxication and impairment.
On June 1, 2015, he announced via Facebook that he had entered rehab for depression, alcoholism, and substance abuse problems. Then, in October 2015, Brendon was arrested for a fourth time after he allegedly choked his girlfriend during a fight in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Per People, he reportedly took her car keys and smashed her cell phone in an attempt to get her to stay. Following the incident on Oct. 17, 2015, he once again announced on Facebook that he was “going into a 90 day treatment program to fix myself and to understand the traumas of my mind. If I can help just one person by sharing my struggles and how I’m battling them, then it’s all completely worth it.” Keep scrolling for more on the struggles Nicholas Brendon was trying to overcome.
Nicholas Brendon began to tackle his inner demons
Nicholas Brendon went on to give more insight into his struggles in a second Facebook status update, writing, “It’s been bad for me the last three years, and I’ve had failed attempts at suicide. I really just want to live and love and be filled with joy.” In December 2015, he sat down for an interview with Dr. Phil and shared more details about his struggles. He had previously appeared on the show, but walked off in the middle of the episode claiming, per People, that Dr. Phil went for “the jugular” and forced him to “lay the darkest parts of myself on national TV.”
In the latest Dr. Phil interview, Brendon revealed that he has “had failed suicide attempts.” People reported he also opened up about being molested by a music teacher when he was about 10 years old. “I think about it every day of my life and I wonder how it affected me. Did I stop growing emotionally?” he wondered. “When you’re molested for a couple years and you’re blamed for it by the people who are supposed to be your protectors, there’s going to be a lot of confusion and a lot of sadness.”
After the interview, the actor checked into a dual diagnosis treatment center, HeadWaters at Origins. “Maybe I’m just done,” he said of entering rehab. “Maybe I’m ready to be happy now.” However, due to another arrest, happiness eluded Nicholas Brendon for a little while longer. Scroll to learn more details about that and how he’s doing today.
Nicholas Brendon finally reached his turning point
Actor Nicholas Brendon’s troubles did not end after appearing on Dr. Phil. On Oct. 11, 2017, after allegedly attacking his girlfriend in a California hotel room, police arrested Brendon. “He was with his girlfriend, and they got into an argument,” Palm Springs Police Sgt. William Hutchinson told KESQ-TV, via People. “During the argument at the bar, he pulled her arm and then violently pulled her by her hair.”
On Feb. 28, 2020, The Desert Sun reported that Brendon struck a plea deal with prosecutors, avoiding a possible four-year jail sentence. In exchange for pleading guilty to attacking his girlfriend nearly three years ago at a Palm Springs hotel, a judge sentenced Brendon to three years probation. He also must complete a 52-week domestic violence course and 20 hours of community service. Following his plea deal, Brendon’s original felony charge of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse was reduced to misdemeanor domestic battery.
In March 2020, Brendon appeared at NorthEast ComicCon, and you can currently request a shout-out from the actor on Cameo. as 2020 seems to be a year of rebuilding for Brendon. His IMDb page shows that he is currently filming several projects. Plus, judging by the support he has received over the years on his Facebook page from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, hopefully, he knows that he is loved and appreciated.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA’s 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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