In an extensive interview with Hollywood Authentic, Penn opened up about his complicated relationship with the Australian actress, stating that he “f**ked up the marriage”.
“There’s a woman who I’m so in love with, Leila George, who I only see on a day-to-day basis now because I f**ked up the marriage.” He added, “We were married technically for one year, but for five years, I was a very neglectful guy.”
The 61-year-old said he was “not a f**king cheat” and that the relationship didn’t fall apart because of any of that “obvious s**t”, but confessed to some reliance on alcohol.
“But I allowed myself to think that my place in so many other things was so important,” he explained. “And that included my place in being totally depressed and driven to alcohol and Ambien at 11 o’clock in the morning, by watching the news, by watching the Trump era, by watching it and just despairing.”
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with us,” Penn admitted. “But I know that this is my best friend in the world and definitely the most influential, inspiring person, outside of my own blood, that anybody could ask to have in their life.”
“So now, when I wash the dishes, I don’t answer my phone. If I’m with my wife for a day, I don’t have my phone on, even though I’m juggling a lot of things,” he said. “I can have my phone off and not watch the news for 12 hours now. And even when I’m stressed, I’m never stressed the way I used to be.”
Admitting that he still relied on Vodka and Ambien to sleep, Penn said, “I don’t use them to hide from the world now like I used to.”
“I hope I’ve learned not to let everything overlap with me anymore. And that I really put priority in my family, in my wife, in my life, in ways that I can plan and control. That’s the theory, anyway.”