Deric Lostutter, the 26-year-old Kentucky rapper who spearheaded Anonymous' campaign to bring attention to the Steubenville rape case, hasn't had an easy time since he was raided by the FBI and came out as the hacktivist KYAnonymous. His longtime girlfriend dumped him this summer, and he was fired from a job at Amazon after they learned of his Anonymous hacktivism. Now, he reveals he's been battling with alcoholism, entering rehab this weekend after a harrowing visit to the ER.
On Saturday, Lostutter posted a note on the KYAnonyous Facebook page announcing he'd checked into the Ridge behavioral health center (all sic):
My condition has stabelized enough for me to write this press release.
Al jazeera america and myself conducted an interview in my city this morning followed by a lunch. At lunch i began to feel like someone was standing on my chest and numb. their producer aaron earndst took me to the hospital where ny heart rate entered "svt" at 160 beats per minute.
Dealing with alchahol as my cure for stress surrounding the case against me, and the death of my best friend, and recent breakup has taken a toll on my health. The doctor has not only told me if i continue to drink, i will die, but has also admitted me to a psychiatric hospital to help me kick the habit that im not strong enough to do myself.
Lostutter only spent one night in rehab, checking out on Sunday against medical advice, because he had to go to work today at his new I.T. job. Reached by phone as he was about to head off to work today, Lostutter said that in recent weeks he'd been drinking hard every day to deal with the stress of the FBI investigation into his activities as KYAnonymous, and his newfound public profile.
"Basically with all the stress and stuff I'm going through, I've been having a lot of anxiety and I'm allergic to the anxiety medicine," he said. "The only thing that's worked is alcohol. I've been drinking more and more."
Lostutter has also been engaged in increasingly erratic Twitter flame wars with detractors who complain he's used his reputation for monetary gain. Lostutter pins his belligerence on tweeting while drunk and says he's trying to be more diplomatic in the future.
"I apologize for my harsh words and random actions from the past couple months," Lostutter wrote on Facebook. "Dealing with constant attacks has take ln a toll on me and caused me to become different than the positive person i was. I slippped up and im sorry. I have to get through this to survive""
Losutter's lawyer, Tor Ekeland, confirmed Lostutter's story and said his client is focused on cleaning up. Though he left rehab, Lostutter's entering Alcoholics Anonymous.
"I'm hoping that what happened this weekend is a moment of clarity," Ekeland said. "I think he made a big step by admitting he has a problem. I just hope he's going to be quiet and reflective for a bit, you don't just change these behaviors overnight."
The FBI raid in April brought enormous, sympathetic international attention and tens of thousands of dollars in donations to Lostutter, but he has yet to be charged for any crimes related to the Anonymous Steubenville campaign. (Ekeland told me he believes the government is still building a case against him and an indictment is forthcoming.) Lostutter told me he wants to return to a somewhat normal life—but it's clear his past as KYAnonymous will continue to haunt him even if he never sets foot in a court room.
"I'm just trying to live life and work," he said. "And try to be normal again."