WWE wrestling great Jake "The Snake" Roberts has always been open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol, but a recent interview shed light on his troubling mental state during the hardest years of his life.
Roberts spoke candidly to The Daily Star saying it was his destiny to fall into addiction and that he was sexually abused as a child.
“I was pretty destined for that, it ran in my family," said Roberts. "The actual reason it happened was because I was still hiding. You can’t spend your life hiding, you really can’t. It’s very hard to go through life having been sexually abused and try and keep that hidden from everybody. I was ashamed of being molested, I was ashamed of where I came from, it was horrible. I was, on one hand, this larger-than-life character, but in reality, I was a very scared little boy that didn’t know what was going to happen to him next. The best way to get over it is to get a lot of counseling and bring that stuff to the light. Life was very rough; I was doing drugs every day, I was doing cocaine and drinking at least 12 beers a day. I did cocaine to forget and then I did the alcohol to come down from the high of cocaine, it was total misery."
Roberts admitted that there came a point in time where he wanted to die because of how tired he was with his struggle with addiction. What's crazy is that the program created by Diamond Dallas Page—DDP Yoga—actually saved him.
Roberts continued, “I was waiting to die and actually wanting to die. I was tired of living that way. I was so ashamed to be out in the public eye, I didn’t go out during the day. I only went out late at night; sometimes at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning to get food and stuff, I didn’t want anyone to recognize me. I started to work out, I was doing DDP Yoga every day. I wasn’t eating crap anymore. It had been so long since I had been healthy, it was insane. I was 310 pounds and in a very short time, I dropped 20 pounds, in like five weeks. It was the spark that I needed to live again. DDP Yoga gave me the opportunity and the need to dream again."
The 62-year-old Roberts made his wrestling debut all the way back in 1975 for Mid South Wrestling. He then went over to Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. Roberts headed to the WWF in 1986 and made his debut in March of that year.
During his first pay-per-view, Roberts defeated George Wells during a match at WrestleMania II. Of course, he unleashed his snake Damien by wrapping him around Wells' head, which made him foam at the mouth.
Roberts was also very talented on the microphone, which led to him having his own segment called The Snake Pit. One of Robert's biggest feuds was against the great Andre the Giant, who like him, was managed by Bobby Heenan. His feud with Andre was really bad for the Giant because he was terrified of snakes. Roberts also had feuds with the likes of The Honky Tonk Man and "Ravishing" Rick Rude.
In 1992, Roberts left the WWF for World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where he was able to work alongside his father Grizzly Smith. Roberts' first television appearance with the WCW came on Aug. 2, 1992, when he ran down through the crowd to attack Sting.
Early on in his time at with the WCW, Roberts teamed up with The Barbarian and Cactus Jack. They ended up getting into a feud with Sting and Nikita Koloff. It didn't take Roberts long before he left WCW in order to be a part of the independent circuit from 1993 and 1994. In that time, h made appearances in Australia, Austria, Germany, and Japan.
Roberts then returned to the WWF in 1996 before quickly exiting for Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1997.
Since then, Roberts has been on the independent circuit. He has made some appearances with the WWE as well as spending some time with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.