Movie hunk Johnny Depp blames his speedy rise to fame for causing his debilitating alcohol addiction.

The FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS star was so intimidated by his celebrity status during his early movie career, he turned to drink to block out his unhappiness.

He explains, "I'd go to functions and back in those days I literally had to be drunk to be able to speak and get through it.

"I guess I was trying not to feel anything. My drug of choice back then was alcohol more than anything. Hard liquor, spirits.

"And yeah, I had a keen idea that it was not good. But you get liquored up and once you are in that spiral, you don't even get hangovers anymore. You wake up and have a drink again."

08/07/2005 11:33