Sunrise newsreader described herself as the modern face of alcoholism – young, professional, educated and high-functioning.

Talitha Cummins reveals she started binge drinking when she was 14 years old, bravely sharing her story of alcoholism on Monday night’s Australian Story on the ABC.

She began drinking at 14-years-old to fight shyness and social discomfort. But the alter ego that emerged when she drank – extrovert, confident, brazen – swiftly began to cause problems.

Sober for four years now, the Sydney-based journalist gave birth to her first child in August, a baby boy named Oliver Paul Lucas.

The 36-year-old newsreader, originally from the Gold Coast, delivers the morning headlines on the Seven Network’s Weekend Sunrise.

She revealed at the height of her alcoholism, she would consume up to four bottles of wine a night, reports Daily Mail.

As soon as Cummins had one drink, she said it would unleash an ‘unstoppable need’ for more and more.

‘I’ve done things that I’m not proud of and I’ve done things that I probably won’t ever remember,’ the newsreader said.

‘I went to the media awards in Brisbane all dressed up in a formal dress and proceeded to drink myself into oblivion. I was told I was carried into a car to be sent home.’

‘Holding it all together was becoming a really hard act. I ended up in hospital on a weekend and got my stomach pumped,’ she said.

‘Trying to pretend everything was normal was no longer sustainable.’

Fellow newsreader and friend Chris Bath said Cummins’ colleagues did not notice she had a problem.

‘Television is this bright, shiny, fabulous facade. When you’re a news presenter you put on a mask most of the time. Talitha fooled everyone,’ Bath said.

On top of drinking, Cummins was fighting serious depression, and had overdosed and had to be rescued by a friend.

When her boss at Channel Seven confronted her, the newsreader finally found the strength to take action.

Bath told Australian Story ‘the threat of losing her job made [Cummins] sober up’.

Cummins signed up for Alcoholics Anonymous and the online help site Hello Sunday Morning.

She had never intended to go public with her addiction but she was encouraged to do so when she accidentally published a private blog detailing her alcoholism.

‘Initially I was really shocked and wanted to delete it,’ Cummins said.

‘But when I saw the responses I was amazed. People said my story was theirs as well. I got emails from people who were binge drinking, mothers who would start drinking in the afternoon, high profile people who were reformed alcoholics.’

Share your comments below.

Is alcohol a problem? If it’s harming you, or someone you know, it may be time to seek advice from a professional.

You can contact one of the many services available, speak to your GP, local health service or call a helpline. There are trained telephone counsellors available in every Australian state and territory. Support info available via this link here.

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  • Addictions of any kind can have a devastating affect on the life of the addicted and the lives of those closest to them. Big kudos to anyone who can kick a habit


  • Andrew O’Keefe from the same show has also been seen publicly very inebriated, amongst other things. I don’t really drink, but I think if I had to sit next to and tolerate Andrew O’Keefe (as pictured above), then I’d want to get drunk too.


  • Good on her for speaking out and sharing her experience. Any addiction is very hard and we need more people like this to share their stories in order to remove some of the associated stigma.


  • A brave decision to speak of her past in the public,wishing Talitha all the best for the future.


  • wow so brave of her to commit to staying sober and well done on 4 years. I hope that she can continue to keep that demon at bay. Congrats on her little one, I hope that fills a void with happiness too.

    so thankful to see that as a “celebrity” of a kind, that she is being supported by her friends/colleagues rather than being criticised and put down – so refreshing to see someone come out about their pain and addiction something probably so hard for anyone to do for fear of being rejected etc. I am happy for her that she now has extra support and understanding in her life, I wish her family all the best for the future


  • So brave for her to tell her story publicly. Not only will it raise awareness of addiction & how it affects all types of people, all classes, how people can be very sick with addiction yet be high achievers, great jobs and have a high profile and appear like everyone else. I hope it will also help the public to have empathy for people who battle addiction. And my greatest hope is that someone will watch her story and realise it’s their story too and have the courage to seek help without feeling judged or ashamed. Addiction affects so many more people than most know. Incredibly brave of Talitha to tell her story. Well done and hope you keep up your sobriety.


  • I think a lot of people have a problem with alcohol and don’t even know it. It has become normal to drink every day and joke about it. People need to reassess why they are drinking so much.

    • I couldn’t agree more with the comment about a lot of people in modern times having issues with alcohol and not even knowing it. It has become the social norm indeed to have a laugh about how boozy a weekend was etc.


  • So brave of her to share her experience with all the world. I’m glad she overcame her addiction!!


  • I am glad she has told her story about alcoholism and how she beat it.
    I hope it is an inspiration for others to realise they are going down the same track to seek professional help. Not only is it an addiction but can do irrepairable damage to your liver, kidneys and other organs


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