Michael K. Williams admits to drug abuse during his time on The Wire

On HBO's already classic drama The Wire, Michael K. Williams played Omar, an iconic, gay, shotgun-toting stick up man. During the filming of The Wire, which concluding in 2008, Williams' life somewhat mirrored a character from the show, although not Omar. William's day-to-day existence away from the set was more like that of the lovable screw-up Bubbles'; scraping by from fix to fix, waking up in dingy, unfamiliar places. Williams, who currently stars in HBO's Boardwalk Empire, was a drug addict.

Williams' drugs of choice were cocaine and marijuana, he told the Newark Star-Ledger in a recent interview. Although he promises that he wasn't into any harder drugs, his coke binges lasted for days on end. He would disappear from friends and family. At one point he even traded his cell phone for drugs, making it impossible for anyone to get in contact with him.

"No one who was in my circle, who knew me as Mike, was allowing me to get high. I had to slip away to do drugs. I had to hide it. I’d be gone for days at a time. I was lonely in that part of my life. I was broke, broken and beat up. Exhausted. Empty," Williams said in an interview.

In the depths of his addiction, Williams would find himself begging for lines in the projects of Newark.

“People didn’t even call me Mike, they called me Omar. But that wasn’t unusual because everybody had an alias,” Williams told the Star-Ledger. “No one was called their government (name) on the block, so they called me Omar or ‘O.’ That mixed with my identity crisis and my addiction — and it was not a good mix. I had to stop trying to be Omar and just be Mike,” Williams said.

Eventually, Mike -- not Omar -- decided enough was enough. It was time to get clean. "I got so sick and tired of this charade. I finally said, ‘I can’t do this no more.’ I didn’t want to end up dead,” he said. Williams credits Christian Love Baptist Church in Irvington, New Jersey and the church's pastor, Rev. Ron Christian with helping him kick drugs.

Williams' decision to come clean about his struggles with addiction comes on the heels of a tragic drug-related death of another The Wire alum. DeAndre McCullough, who played a minor role on The Wire and whose real-life exploits with drugs were chronicled in David Simon's The Corner, died in August from an overdose. At the time of his death, McCullough had several warrants for his arrest in connection with armed robberies of pharmacies.

By Lucas High

About the author

Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at lhigh2@gmail.com, on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/LucasHigh.

More From Lucas High

"String theory is complicated, that's just yucky." - Sheldon
Read More
"Sometimes I'm like, 'How do I not O.D.?'" - Deanna
Read More
"We sell history." - Alex
Read More

Email (Will not be used):


characters left

Featured Articles

Popular Today


Recent Comments

"Mysterion Rises" with The Cute Lord Cthulhu - South Park review
Actually, the birthing of Kenny in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" doesn't necessarily conflict with the circumstances of Kenny's reincarnation...
Alien Encounters, "The Message": a hard to find little show that's worth the search
Mind Reading Technologies and Tongues Governments from around the world have been using mind reading technologies that can read...
Dog The Bounty Hunter, "And Baby Makes Three": revisiting an old favorite
i do like your show i wish can be your fan club i want all of your show on dvd please
Boardwalk Empire, "Two Boats and a Lifeguard": daddy issues
Are you looking for a partner for the relationship or for fun? Then you came to the right place. We are providing you the best dating...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I can verify Bear Claw. Good man. I cant vouch for the other participants. It is to bad society does suck so bad that this type...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
Lake Michigan is not an ocean. Has anyone seen my white dog? Lost him while hiking in Arkansas
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too also as well live on the island, I can attest that Dan lives in the ocean as he has for hundreds of decades. We locals call...
Parks and Recreation: why is everyone so mean to Jerry?
It's funny because its so not funny.
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too live on the island and ISLANDER does not know what they are talking about. Dan lives out in the middle of the island with...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
this is not real i know that goat and it is not "doc's" its my neighbors goat. and by the way i live on the very top of that mountain...