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As she did last season, house manager Jennifer Gimenez is set to give us her weekly take on each episode of Sober House with Dr. Drew. Below, Jenn talks about the fifth episode of the show: Jennie and Kendra’s tension, the departure and return of Heidi Fleiss and her own blow-up with Seth.

Dr. Drew came in right as Tom and Mike were in the middle of their big blow-up. He couldn’t have arrived at a better time.

I know. That was like a godsend at that moment. I remember I was texting him, “Please come.” I think he finished Loveline early, and literally as the mayhem was happening he walks up the hill. It was not planned at all. He walked straight up – he wasn’t even miked at that point.

That must have been a relief for you.

Yes! At that moment I was taking care of Kendra and keeping Heidi away from Tom. Seriously, it couldn’t have been more perfect timing.

Kendra reacted really strongly to this tumult.

There were definitely triggers for her, and as you saw in Sex Rehab, she doesn’t take that kind of fighting well. I think she reverted back to her childhood issues and trauma. At that moment, it was kind of like triage: what do you do, who do you save? At that moment it was Kendra, because she wasn’t involved in anything so I felt like I needed to protect her. I felt protective of the situation, because she was an innocent bystander brought into the mayhem. I think a lot of people were at that point.

Because she tested positive for drugs, Heidi had to leave the sober house. Were you disappointed?

I mean, that’s standard. I was brokenhearted because it’s such a sad thing when we do use. For whatever reasons, we are in so much pain and we just can’t handle life, so I was really sad for her. I was actually relieved that she was willing to come back and try it over again, but I knew that her being there would create more mayhem. We’re powerless over this disease, but we didn’t have the tools to take care of her as well as the rest of the house. I was proud of her for having the courage to try this again, though.

What was going on at this point with the jobs these people were assigned? Ever since their first days, we haven’t seen them working.

They didn’t continue the jobs. It was unfortunate, too. Sometimes in sober houses they do continue their jobs because they have to. But because there was so much going on, there were a lot of things everyone was trying to cram in to get these people going in life and also to create the show. Not to take away from the work that they did, but it didn’t continue.

Mike apologized to you, called you “sweetheart,” vowed to discontinue the, “F*** you”s. Were you buying it?

No, and it’s unfortunate for me to say this but it was a constant thing with Mike. You didn’t see that the night before, he really, really attacked me. That threw everyone off, especially Tom. It’s really hard for everyone, especially me, to hear that. When Mike apologized, I was like, “OK, I’m going to give it one shot,” but it was really wearing on me emotionally and mentally. I think the whole situation was wearing on me.

Yeah, at the end of the episode we saw you break down and heard a voiceover from Dr. Drew wondering how much longer you could manage this by yourself.

The group is so rough and so tough and so exhausting and I didn’t have any support. I didn’t have my circle of support. There were no free moments for me to make the calls to get comfort in my life and with my emotions. I didn’t have Dr. Sophy, I didn’t have anything except my texts or calls to Dr. Drew. It was me against eight. Sometimes I just wanted a hug. I just wish there were more tools that I had and that we had for a support team for me. My survival mechanisms were exhausted. I just kept trying and it felt like I was walking in and hitting my head into the same wall over and over in the same spot again. With Heidi going out and coming back, it was like starting all over again. Her disease was so alive — more than anyone else’s in the house at that moment. She wasn’t the same Heidi.

Did you ever beat yourself up over any of this? Did you ever feel like a failure?

I don’t know if I felt like I was failing — I just knew that I started shutting down. I don’t know if it’s about failing more so than it is waving a flag. More than anything I just wished I had my support team. If I was able to process my emotions and my feelings with somebody, then I would have more strength to keep going.

This episode finds tension brewing between Jennie and Kendra. Was that always there?

When they walked in the beginning of the season, they were tight. There was a good force going on there. And then you just saw it slowly disintegrating. That kind of happens when two people come from the same place. They came from the same show, Sex Rehab, they come from the same stuff in some way or another. I started seeing little specks of it. It really came to a head in the Jacuzzi, which happened the night after all the mayhem. We couldn’t have just one night of relaxation in warm water, you know? I remember just sitting in there thinking my muscles are trying to relax, and then they started and I was thinking, “How am I going to find the boundary here?” That’s when I was like, “Enough guys.” There was so much more going on than substance addition, and people were drawing from that. You had Mike’s mental issues, and you had the sex addition stuff. There were a lot of things going on. I felt like we were all walking on egg shells. I was at least. But we had to walk through the eggshells and stand ground.

The Jennie/Kendra tension also pervades rock-climbing.

Yes. That was a activity to get everyone’s mind off of things. Here I was telling everyone, “Come on, let’s do it!” It was an awakening for me, just going through it, but in the back of my head, there was the Kendra/Jennie thing going on. I knew it was coming. I just didn’t know when it was going to happen and at least no one got hurt. There was no verbal abuse happening. They were shouting, but they did it, in a weird way, with respect, and that’s kind of the process. I let it happen, because what was I going to do? Try to stop something these people were feeling? Block them from their feelings? Kendra and Jennie both wanted to stay away from each other, there were boundaries set and that was great.

You had it out with Seth. Was it disappointing that it came to that?

One of the things that we’re asking is: do your chores. The trash was overflowing. Everyday I asked, “Please do your chores before you leave.” I was picking up after everyone, and then when stuff wasn’t done or when it was dirty, everyone would come to me instead of confronting each other like, “That’s not fair!” I was angry with Seth after asking him over and over again. I was begging him. I sounded like a broken record. He then threw a fit at me. It was sad, but I just went with it. In the end, it was like, at least Seth showed emotion. He has a lot of anger, and I realized that he wasn’t angry about me. The funny thing is that afterward, I ignored Seth and that’s the worst thing you can do to him. The next morning, he had coffee on my table. I told him that I had to be tough with him. The people who loved and helped me with my sobriety were really tough on me. They wanted me to get it. They were afraid of going to my funeral.

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  1. traveling fool says:

    Another great interview! Vacation? I’ll take you. xoxoxoxo <3 😉 You should have had a swear jar, and every time somebody cursed, they'd have to put a certain amount in. With the amount of swearing, you could almost buy a house!

  2. Derek says:

    Jennifer, I’m not sure if you actually read this comments or not but I wanted to say I think what you’re doing is awesome. I wish you the best every day and hope you have a happy life.

  3. James says:

    I love to watch this show because these “celebrities” are such train wrecks.
    I had no idea that people could be so twisted.
    Must come with the hollywood lifestyle.

  4. Dori W. says:

    Jenn, as a recovering addict, 20+ years sober, these people do not want sobriety. Where are they working the 12 steps? they are dry drunks as they all the “ism”s and they are taking it out on you. I hope you read this because I’m compelled to write you as I watch the show tonight. I think you’re sweet, loving and kind and to hear them bash you, and treat you so abusively, you don’t deserve this at all. Do you see that? I know you’re passing it on, but pass it on to those who want it, and they don’t want it Jenn.

    I wish you peace. Kick them out.

  5. Neesa says:

    After watching the last episode.I decided to make a “Fuck Mike (Nota) Starr you tube video.I have to take notes from th episode saved on my tive b 4 doing so.I am a former porn actress who gets a sweet amt. of traffic.I will aso post it on my website/blog.
    Gimmie about 1 hr.he’s a douche.ANd has no respect for women.He is very unattracive,Thats wh he called u that.Hes a loser.Hasnt played in that stupid band that ruined 80s cock rock,in 10+ yrs.Walked away from Lane.Lane would b alive today if Mike stayed w him.I am open to Mike lovers.I luv 2 debate.W/o violence.

  6. JC says:

    It is all a part of the disease. when your high you don’t even think of the way you are acting. I watched my sister who was a binge alcoholic go through this. It does not excuse their behaivor though. I don’t think it was a good move to put Heidi and Tom together but man Mike has got to face those inner demons and change or he won’t have a chance.

    Keep doing what you are doing Jennifer. No tolerance for their negative actions. Structure is what they need.

    You are doing a great job!!!!!


  7. gale bonno says:

    Jen, U are amazing the stuff u take. as someone in recovery i know that if people don’t want help they are taking up space and energy that could be used for someone willing. Dr Drew doesn’t seem to have a clue about what it takes to recover. the first year he had a dinner at a bar, with bottles all over. during rehab?? what was he thinking, don’t think he was. u know ur stuff he should support your decisions. it angers me the way these people act. they are not stars anymore and even if they were they shouldn’t act the way they do.

  8. Shell says:

    This is regarding the most recent blowup with Mike. Also posted this on VH1.com:
    Jennifer, I can’t believe anyone in your position could have lasted this long. Most people would go insane and quit. Yes, you hit your breaking point and went too far with the name-calling, but you could no longer tolerate Mike’s childish, egomaniacal behavior (and most celebs/politicians/public figures ARE egomaniacs–you have to have an ego of steel to survive the dirty, nasty industry of Hollywood).

    You have an incredibly important job–the down & dirty, day-to-day job of helping desperate addicts cope with the little obstacles of everyday life. If something as tiny as cleaning can set off an addict, then how will they cope with the real world (especially the non-Hollywood world), where no one will put up with their bullsh*t? You are a HERO.

    Maybe sharing more of your memories of coping with daily life when you were kicking your habit will empower them, especially during morning meditation. Maybe you can tell them you had to kick yourself in the butt 10 times a day to clean your room when you were dope sick, but you had to suck it up and do it anyway. 🙂 Hey, we all hated chores as kids, but we did ’em anyway!

    Hang in there, Jen. I’m more of a timid personality and you inspire me to be a take-charge leader!

  9. what up J says:

    you are good person I hope you can witer me back send more cool picture of you still a good life

  10. Naty Pri says:

    Hi Pri! I was doing my homework, so I have read and watched all these great things about your new life. Congratulations!!!! You deserve this and more!!!

  11. Rosa says:

    Drew has no clue about recovery with these celebrities. He does drug, alcohol, sex, rehab. Gives advice on love. Does 16 & Pregnant reunion shows and NO ONE listens to him. All these shows are about ratings for him & not recovery. I stopped watching because one person can not give good solutions to that many different areas of live. These addicts are getting paid to go to rehab. Of course they will go to rehab. Of course they are going to act out cuz it’s a show & we are talking about them. Jenn got a bigger scolding thatn anyone has ever gotten. I caught a smidge of that clip before I changed the channel. I had to vent cuz I really like Jenn. Drew do these celebrites a favor. LEAVE THEM ALONE until they are ready and seek you out privately instead of a show seeking people who want to make money & not get sober. Enough out of me. Need to go do a 4th step on this again lol. What is my part? I WATCHED THE SHOW AGAIN lol. Keep up the good work Jenn.

    • Breanna says:

      None of them really know what they are doing and that includes Jenn. She is a nice person with a huge heart but she is not educated or trained enough to be able to give the kind of care and counselling ANY addict needs. The incident with Mike proved that. There were other ways to handle and avoid that situation. Jenn has a control issue and that is something she has to get over. She does want to help but she needs to go back to school to do that. She is no expert and is only trying to cash in just like the rest of them. Sorry…but it`s just too obvious now that she`s on all these `celebrity` panels giving her expert advice. She knows NOTHING!!!

  12. Breanna says:

    Jennifer I know that what you are doing should be commended and that you are only trying to help. But you need training and more experience in addictions counselling to be able to do that. I don`t mean to sound nasty because that`s not my intention but you must realize, especially after you recovered yourself, that the methods you are using just don`t work. What happened with Mike was like watching a mother and a two year old. Even a mother knows you don`t constantly get into a childs` face telling them what to do. Instead, you tell them once, maybe twice, and if they don`t do their chores, you take a priveledge away. Why didn`t you do that with Mike. You could have avoided that confrontation completely. You made him sign the rules but you didn`t follow through with the punishments. Please, I beg you, if you seriously want to help anyone, celebrities or not, please get more training and education. At this point you are causing more damage than good. You`re heart is in the right place but you are lacking skills. Lastly, I know that everyone has to make money to live but do we really have to cash in on other people`s pain. It`s no wonder kids like Lindsay Lohan are where they are. Please get the education YOU need Jennifer before you seriously harm someone. You`re a nice person with a huge heart. Don`t stop doing what you`re doing, just get the education and training you need before you continue.

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